Last summer in Lafayette
I wonder if God, coolly watching from the stars,
sees me here
alone at my kitchen table, lit by my one yellow candle,
dim warmth on a green-black avocado, purple eggplants
and dusty potatoes crusted in dirt,
a lumpy smallish pile on the scarred table.
A goddess, maybe, would be sunlight in green leaves,
flaring on Sugar Creek. Fire in my eyes—
the golden light of not-quite-lunchtime
on uneven brick streets and white-canopied folding tables
laden with creamy butternut squash,
amber jars of honey, fiery dark peppers—
light filling shining eggplants with the deepest purple.
Would she have sat on the bench
beside me this morning as I nursed my son?
The avocado in the wire basket was chosen from a table
piled with shining dark green skins at the grocery this afternoon.
No mystery under fluorescent lights
next to the mangoes.
But the potatoes emerged from the secret
darkness of the earth,
birthed from a stack of salvaged tires in our backyard.
My husband and our daughter
found rotten sprouting ends in the compost,
oozing, reeking of death,
and buried them in the tire grave.