The Potato Eaters

Ekphrasis and Collaboration

The Potato Eaters
The Potato Eaters

THOUGHTS OF FIVE DUTCH PEASANTS WHILE VINCENT PAINTS

Blind Man’s Rainbow

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Such darkness in fields breeds darkness within
Here where we consume our meal. A lone
Oil lamp just above us shadows the rafters and walls;
That wall is unneeded, bare, crowds the cramped room.

What day is any harder, simpler, than today?
New moons bring better days than the new
Moon hiding from us tonight, keeping the soil
Too sandy for these potatoes. Pour, then sit and rest.

That look again, telling me all. But I
Don’t blame the dirt, William, the rich, the work.
Mixed farms are small farms, and this life we have,
Our life, is worth all we do. Eat, okay?

What kind of man is he, he who insists
Poor folks like me would want poverty passed
On? No one hears the men working the fields.
Thank God for caffeine. I’ll take this cup since it’s cracked.

Five cups of caffeine coming up. Ten hands
Worked fields today. The cattle, hogs. All week
Long, every week. Come evenings, that’s when we
Sit, eat, appreciate our work, ourselves. Here. Drink.

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