The Irish had planted potatoes there.
The first Fall my family dug them up
and ate them.
That must have been about A.D. 1952.
In Spring in the cold clean river
we hunted watercress and ate it as salad.
In Summer we went north to Ipswich
and spent all day on the rocks
brought them back iced--buckets of them,
spent all day with needles
pricking them out of their shells,
for a sauce never sold
in any market.
We ate them over linguine
cooked in huge pots
in Rosa's magnificent kitchen.
Friday was fish day.
Masses were Latin.
There is really no way to recall the night sky.
There was less night light in those days.
The air was clean.
Laid out on your back
on the moist grass
where the potatoes
had been hiding,
was a universe above.
Half of the huge oak
had been blasted away by the hurricane.
The ancient miniature pear tree survived,
bore endless fruit every Fall.
It filled bushel baskets.
We ate them.
Some fermented on the concrete slab
over which laundry was hung and dried.
They smelled like brandy.
Laundry was white and heavy.
There was much linen.
It smelled like ozone.
Skippy the Collie chased cars
and was killed, died howling
and bleeding on the front porch.
Blood smells metallic.
It is hard to remember what world it was.
Massachusetts? Middlesex County?
E. A. Costa 7 December 2014 Granada, Nicaragua