Potatoes – A Quadrille
I expected to find Mom in the living room,
smoking a cigarette and watching TV.
Instead, she was in the kitchen
peeling potatoes. I paused
to watch her pull the paring knife toward her
with each peel,
like she’d done a thousand times before.
It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, and Mish is tending bar. Payment for a drink is one 44-word Quadrille including some form of the word peel. My offering is a modified version of a paragraph from chapter 1 of my memoir, turned to free verse.
Such a vivid image you’ve painted here…but the pause is the precious part of the poem.
Thank you. I’m encouraged by how my portrayal of this simple scene has touched so many. Let’s me know it has a proper place in my memoir manuscript.
Peeling potatoes… one of those things I love to do myself…
Do you use a paring knife and pull towards you, or a potato peeler and peel away from you? Inquiring minds want to know.
Neither, I use a potato peeler and pull towards me 🙂
I LOVE this. It reminds me a bit of Ted Kooser’s poetry, who is a personal favorite. It manages to capture something profound simply by observing a “common” moment in daily life.
Thank you. I’m glad you liked it. I’ve not read Ted Kooser. I will have to look him up.
Simple, yet poignant piece.
One of the many, many tasks that mothers do each day that usually goes unnoticed. You have honored her with your noticing.
Fining comfort in the familiar.
Lots of ways to peel/cook potatoes…love this visual, Linda!
There is no end to potatoes! I love how you crafted this, and how you paused to watch her, even though a thousand times before.
A thousand times? I bet it was more like a hundred thousand. Those strokes of the peeler were the rhythm of the kitchen.
You are probably right! But then I would have had to cut another word to stay within my 44. 😉
It’s a symbolic ‘thousand’ then 🙂
It is amazing the simple things we remember about our parents. I hope my children’s memories will be as fond as mine are for my parents.
Nice quadrille, these routines are really rituals of love
Having dinner on the table was definitely one way my mom showed love. I never went hungry and potatoes were a staple.
In your 44-word quadrille, you’ve not only captured a moment from your and your mother’s lives, Linda, you’ve also sketched a poignant portrait of your mother.
Thank you. I wondered if this small snippet would resonate without the material that comes before it in the memoir. I’m glad to hear that it does.