Sometimes, the naked taste of potato
reminds me of being poor.
The first bites are gratitude,
the rest, contented boredom.
The little kitchen still flickers
like a candle-lit room in a folktale.
Never again was my father so angry,
my mother so still as she set the table,
or I so much at home.
* * * * *
Leonard E. Nathan (1924-2007) was a poet, critic and professor emeritus of rhetoric at the University of California at Berkeley. His poetry collections include Returning Your Call (1975) which was nominated for a National Book Award; Carrying On: New and Selected Poems (1985), Diary of a Left-Handed Bird Watcher (1998); Tears of the Old Magician (2003), and Ragged Sonnets (2008).