“Peeling Potatoes in Puerto Vallarta” by Lynne Knight

Lynne Knight


I used to remember everything.
I could see pages from books
in my mind but now it’s all a blur
& words I’ve looked up an hour ago

mean nothing to me.
          C’est une lapalissade de dire que
je vieillis. Or, It’s stating the obvious
          to say that I’m getting old. Today,

walking the dog, I pretended
I was thirty, the dog my dog back then, 
black, not blonde as she is. For a while
it worked, I forgot myself, but why

leave the body now when every minute
should count, every breath, & we know
this is how we should be living—only
groceries, laundry, floors that need

mopping—who wants to attend
to all that with full consciousness?
It’s supposed to be spiritual to peel
potatoes if what you’re doing is

peeling potatoes, in the moment,
as they say, but why not be elsewhere,
frolicking in the sun, your memory supple, 
your body lithe again & every bit thirty?

from Rattle #68, Summer 2020


Lynne Knight: “One of my poet friends said several years ago that she was sick of reading poems by women who were just whining about getting old. I thought at the time that I’d never end up writing such poems. But I’m getting old, and here they come—not, I hope, without humor and hope.” (web)

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