(Spoken word poetry written and read by Maria R. Palacios, Goddess on Wheels)

she sat at the kitchen table
peeling potatoes
peeling memories

one in particular
of her youth
age 18 to be exact

she was at a neighbour's house
you know
the neighbour with the cute son
the friendly Italian woman
who could cook anything
and made her own pasta
from scratch

that night she was making dinner
some dish that required potatoes
little ones
big ones
heart-shaped ones
and even those
that had sprouted claws
still attempting to hold on
to life

that night
no potato was safe

women gathered in the kitchen
with peelers and small knives
that stripped potatoes
of their coarse lingerie
leaving their pale nudity

at 18
she should have known
the intimate affair
of peeling potatoes
the way the skin unravels
between the fingers
and falls
in slow motion
as if the potatoes
were undressing on their own

she should have known
by then
the feel
the touch
the change of texture

as each potato
while knife
or peeler
unveils its final form
layer by layer
like a first-time
love affair

but she didn't know
any of this
she didn't know
how to peel potatoes

"You will never get married"
the friendly neighbour said to her
"if by now you don't know
how to peel a potato
you will never get married"

20 years
and 2 marriages later
she sits at the kitchen table
peeling potatoes
peeling memories

there is nobody to impress
potatoes are nude
and this time
she doesn't care


© 2008, Maria R. Palacios.
All rights reserved.



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