June 8 – Laura Grace Weldon – “The Rutabaga, a pleasant guest at any meal”

Monday, June 8, 2020
“Through you we eat sunlight”

I had another poem queued up for today, but Laura Grace Weldon’s hymn to a Rutabaga took my imagination by storm.  No . . . perhaps not a storm, perhaps an early summer whisper.  Not all poems present themselves as solemn at first reading.   However, on  a second or maybe a third reading, poets carry the capacity for surprise.  That’s what poets do,  refresh your imagination, stop you in your tracks.

Best to read the poem out loud,  with pauses.  Have a blest Monday.


john sj


Today’s Post: “Rutabaga”  Laura Grace Weldon

You darken as my knife slices
blushing at what you become.
I save your thick leaves
and purple skin
to feed the cows.

A peasant guest at any meal
you agree to hide in fragrant stew
or gleam nakedly
in butter and chives.

Though your seeds are tiny
you grow with fierce will
grateful for poor soil and dry days,
heave up from the ground
under sheltering stalks
to sweeten with the frost.

Tonight we take you into our bodies
as if we do you a favor—
letting your molecules
become a higher being,
one that knows music and art.

But you share with us
what makes you a rutabaga.
Through you we eat sunlight,
taste the soil’s clamoring mysteries,
gain your seed’s perfect might.

“Rutabaga” by Laura Grace Weldon, from Tending (Aldrich Press, 2013). © Laura Grace Weldon. Presented here by poet submission.

Laura Grace Weldon’s happy childhood was marred by the presence of alligators under her bed. No one ever proved they weren’t real.


This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.