John Bastien-Lepage: The Potato Gatherers

by David Veloz

The horizon is women: potatoes like stones
surround their fourskirts, folded as though they're shrouds
and pillared about their legs-a canvas bone
to gather on . Root rocks fill their bags the way clouds

fill the horizon, clouds they claw for and pick
like daisies in an Easter time . The earth
is mud , the sky is women, and here they wish
with their mouths for clouds to kiss from the dirt

as they kiss up potatoes. Bending like women should bend
in a garden, in love, with cherries and tulips and wine,
they rain and gather clouds. Pouring to lend
the idea they are gathering, gathering time

to kiss and bun their hair, and then planting
to pick, to kiss to show they're not wanting .