! The Heroic Carrot - Poem by Michael Shepherd
The floods have ruined the British vegetable growers.
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.
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