On Peeling a Potato

When peeling a potato, don’t stop to eradicate every eye, or you’ll lose perspective; imperfections can be dealt with later.

While waiting for my ride home from the ophthalmologist, a woman in high heels and a perfectly fitted magenta suit with matching hat, stepped in front of me in a rush to get to her car.

She reminded me of my second-grade art teacher. After hearing lots of her good ideas, she asked each of us to make a drawing of whatever we’d like. My childhood fantasies often had to do with the Mother Goose tales I loved. I thought Mother Goose was a goose, albeit an extraordinary goose, as well as a kind and kindred creature of immense versatility.

My drawing that week was thrilling to me—my version of Mother Goose flying high above Francisco Avenue, with me astride her. She is huge, with glimmering midnight-blue feathers wafting in the wind, and a creamy-white breast and underbelly. The streets below are asparkle with hundreds of tiny rooftops outlined in shimmering lights that look like the stars. I’m wearing a tall pointed black hat, and a long black cape that floats high in the air.

The teacher, with her unsolicited appraisal of our work, was headed up the aisle, only two kids ahead of me.  Having heard her critique of others, I could feel my breath shorten as she approached with, “Well, what do we have here?” She said my goose was way too large for the page in relation to the city. I said, “Yes ma’am.”


Jean Cassidy   April, 2021

wnc poetry, wnc writers


  • I do love it, of course. All the way through I was with you, Flying over the city on Mother Goose, enjoying all the sights. Then the sentence about the approaching teacher made me hold my breath and I pictured the goose kicking her in the butt with it’s a big foot!

    By the way, I do peel potatoes or anything else in the way you suggested and I figure that by the time they’re cooked nobody’s going to see those little nits or that if they do it doesn’t matter. It certainly does not matter to me. I think that for those of our ilk every day of aging gives us extra perspective and just about everything

    so fun to be with the two of you today and so looking forward to our trip together. And thanks a lot for sharing your poem with me. I always welcome your poetry

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