boy and his grandmother digging up potatoes. Fisted, worm-rich southern
Pennsylvanian soil. In no way do they resemble Amarya Indians whose
frost-dried chuños could be stored for years, who cultivated
over 200 varieties of potatoes twelve hundred years ago on the Titicaca
Plateau in the Andes. They are not at all like Irish peasants before,
during, or after the Great Potato Famine. Or slaves in Virginia on
one of the potato plantations of Sir Walter Raleigh. Even if their
clothes were torn, their faces full of romanticized nobility, they
would not resemble two serfs gathering potatoes in a painting by Jules
Bastien-Lepage. No, they joke about the worms and the cat poop and
the grape-sized potatoes you never see in a store and I laugh as I
watch them from a distance, my hands clean. Beneath our feet, human
skulls peer up, astonished.
Hoag Holmgren's short stories, prose poems, and essays have appeared
in numerous literary magazines and reviews. His short films have been
official selections in film festivals in the U.S. and abroad.