for M.J.C & M.B.C


Last June, I watched her slice up a bucket of old potatoes,
dropping the bits into furrows,

A hundred eyes in the dirt.
A damp chunk of tuber will sprout fifteen or twenty

copies of itself, each its own shape and weight.
In August we dug them up with pitchforks.

All potatoes come from the jungle of South America, she said.
Years ago, there was one mother-spud

the size of a small car.
Then one day, the men came and dug her up

and cut out her eyes and planted them
in rows like we do now. 

At the time, I did not believe her.
I stand in the knee-high green.

The mother-spud’s eyes have multiplied,
like living things do, always finding new ways to be.

Arlo Cristofaro-Hark was raised on a small farm in southern Minnesota, and currently writes from the coast of Maine. As an undergraduate at College of the Atlantic he has produced a diverse collection of poems, a number of which appear in COA Magazine, and are forthcoming in Mochila Review and Ripple Magazine.