Michael Shepherd

(8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! The Heroic Carrot


The floods have ruined the British vegetable growers.
Tough. But
the supermarkets will just buy elsewhere,
we'll hardly notice, apart from TV's brief comment...

This week, what of our organic vegetable bag
whose carrots are usually a joyful memory
of what carrots, pulled yesterday, used to, still can, taste like?

- so this week, just one, huge carrot. The Great Survivor.
Gnarled, a giant among the pretty, washed, and fashionable ones
smiling under the golden light of supermarket shelves -
it looked as if it had fought battles, come through wars
which of course few want to be reminded of
by those old veterans with their tales of times
too testing of mortality for us to think about...

eaten later, it would have a subtler taste -
of gratitude, of praise.

A kitchen; a carrot; a man holding a knife,
on the edge of tears.

Submitted: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Edited: Friday, April 15, 2011

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Comments about this poem (! The Heroic Carrot by Michael Shepherd )

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  • Ted Sheridan (10/10/2007 7:43:00 AM)

    On this side of the pond we have a pumpkin shortage....and I believe that is a good thing.. (Report) Reply

  • Tara very irritated with PH injustice (10/10/2007 7:33:00 AM)

    I guess it's when the Swedes have all disappeared that we have to, er, worry. Oops! Seriously... it's more of a problem than is recognised.... but at least most of the farmers get their EU subsidies... whereare you presumably get as a replacement some washed out old has-bean (groan) , right? :) t x (Report) Reply

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