Today's poem is by Jennifer Wheelock

An Invitation to Rebellion

Germany's King Frederick William (1795-1840) realized
that potatoes were a good food source and ordered peasants
to plant and eat potatoes or their noses would be cut off.

Note the crow over the corn stalks, waiting
for you to swing the hook. His is the look
of patience, as the orbit of the moon
or the barely swollen mound of dirt

where the potato digs into life. No
desires announce themselves here. This garden,
like you, is alive and quiet, a peasant's
heart, pretending resignation to a lot

of sun and little love, birds of prey, rain
enough. No doubt they are daunting, the long
haunted rows. I say we plow them up, plant
roses instead. Let them take our noses.

The crow already flew off with an ear.
To lose our heads is nothing we should fear.

Copyright © 2004 Jennifer Wheelock All rights reserved
from Atlanta Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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