The Potato Sorter | Teen Ink

The Potato Sorter

April 7, 2009
By E.L.W. PLATINUM, Glen Allen, Virginia
E.L.W. PLATINUM, Glen Allen, Virginia
31 articles 0 photos 59 comments

Favorite Quote:
Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels.
The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes -
the ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo.
They push the human race forward.

the potato sorter
high in the Andes a worn woman sits
-she has had her share of hardships
i can tell as i watch her nimbly sort potatoes, preparing for winter, as the sunlight frolics across her lined forehead.
the skin that i see is thin, papery, and shriveled like the Peruvian potatoes in their skins she spends so much time carefully drying.
i know, simply by looking at her, in her alpaca wool poncho and modest skirt
that she has never known
park benches,
daffodils blooming,
reaching a sticky hand into that artificial buttery mess of popcorn at the cinemas,
or the feel of a tall, decaf, nonfat caramel macchiato Starbucks resting against your hands in December.
because we are fortunate, we clutter our lives with worry and angst.
nothing can ever be simple,
can it?
entertained by the simple pleasures in life,
she is content with being
who she is;
a potato sorter

The author's comments:
I traveled to Peru when I was ten and was fascinated by this poor woman who sorted potatoes to prepare for the coming winter. Sounds like such trivial material, right? But I managed to write a poem about her. She really stuck in my memory.

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