Harvesting Tips by Cate Kennedy

You planted them, so you know they’re under there.
Find a soft spot. This could take half a day.
Then put your boot on the fork, and let it sink.

Choose a dry day, so that you won’t wrench your back
turning soil heavy with water and risen clay.
The leaves and stalks will look finished,
black with early frost.
Do not be dissuaded: remember
the day you planted these
your attention seemed barely required;
donkey work – just dig a trench and cover them with straw –
but now they have shown you this strange reward for carelessness
when you turn your fork
they break the surface in clumps,
tumbling up from the dark.

Some are perfect, and some twisted
grown around obstructions and dense sediment.
There is nothing as beautiful, as cool and surprising
as pure and promising.
Hold them in your hand, and you feel like weeping.

If, for fear of disappointment, you have brought no box or basket
just collect them into your jumper.
Carry them inside, make a still-life.
God, how clean they are, coming from the chilled dirt
you can hardly believe they are yours.

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