A Hundred and One Ways to Cook Potatoes – by Kathleen Strafford

Ode to my childhood friend Sharon

I’m not scared of the boys hiding in the bushes
but there’s mean old Mac

She told me   in the night
he creeps half-baked
           into her bedroom
                    trying to peel her

Because we are ten minutes      late
            Mac     grabs one leg     sweeping her      high
                 I can still hear her cries    the crisp crack
                                                     of tender skin
                              see her kick her legs
                until  she pees
                           down
                                his trouser leg
  She tries to ignore all the names
             he calls her
but they continued to sink
               deep into her fat.

 Later, her husband will grow spuds
              ploughing
                       under
                            blue & yellow wild flowers
                                         until they bloom
                                                       on her
                                                               cheekbone.
Now her family sit in their
                 brown-eyed cockerel kitchen
                         looking like Van Gogh’s Potato Eaters.

 

 

Kathleen Strafford is a student at Trinity University in Leeds studying for her MA  in creative writing.  She hopes her first collection of poetry will be published this coming year after graduation.  She has been published in magazines & online:  Interpreter’s House, Butcher’s Dog, Fat Damsel, Ink Sweat and Tears, Panoply, and various anthologies.

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