Issue > Poetry
James Ricks Carson

James Ricks Carson

Ricks Carson writes, teaches high school, and lives in Atlanta. Since the early '80s, more than 75 of his poems have appeared in a number of different reviews, anthologies, and online. He quotes Chaucer to students – "The life so short, the craft so long to learn" – and enjoys poems with a mysterious spiritual dimension embedded in concrete details.

The Scullery Maid's Love Song to Potato Peels


Placid on the counter you wait,
     you love-locks of babies' hair,
for something else to do;
      shorn eyebrows
of old potatoes that fattened
     this one on its back,
that one against a stone,
     this one nicked by hoe,
that one smooth as bone
     plumply nude beside you.                    

O dark odor of root and worm,
     of tramps in rain and the mud;
O tattered jackets of Ireland's poor,
     the base food of the mad;
O Druid rune curled
     tongue to tail,
O womb of fiber and starch,
     doomed for scullery bins—
O calm of duties done,
     my pretties,
O end, my pretties,
     of duties.

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