Monday, April 06, 2009

I Dream of Turnips*

I cannot decide if it is fall or winter as I
merge into the fray outside Grand Central.

Streets tall and gray, gray like my mood
Not quite black, black like my conservative suit with
shoes I fear will get me mistaken for a 50-year old
paralegal with a stooped back and no sense of humor.

“Soul-crushing” I exaggerate, but maybe only slightly as
I am pushed down, compacted into the long-running sidewalk.

My mind searches and finds
its escape, in the newly-birthed idea of a turnip farm.

I’ve never tasted a turnip; know nothing about them - yet
it strikes me as honest work above all.

Two goats keep me and turnips company while
I till the soil as they pace the paddock,
bleating breath making steam in chill air. And
I bring revolution to the turnip industry – people
never view turnips in the same way again.

I, I remain humble
after winning first prize at the Annual Turnip Festival for
my Turnip Turnovers, a recipe of my own invention
(the secret ingredient is cumin)
concocted late one night in my farmhouse kitchen.

I sell turnips and turnovers at market and
always charge a fair price. I do not
sell turnips to people who don’t need them;
that is not what this, this life is about.

In the end
back is stooped from soil tilled but
sense of humor survives.

My conservative suit goes to moths in my closet.
I feed my paralegal shoes to the goats.

*Written in 2006, during my search for a bill-paying day-job, while dreaming of something else entirely.

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