Fried Potatoes

It is something about memory
That makes them real—
The way only Mother
Could slice & peel,
Drop the pieces
Onto a greasy skillet,
Sprinkle seasoning
In tandem to the sharp sizzle
Of frying, and know
The precise moment
To flip them
Until the surface
Acquired a brown skin—
Some browner than others.
She did not need
The bling of a timer.

There is a smell that comes
When things are done perfectly,
The odor draws hunger
Away from everything else
& brings it, unerring,
To the waiting table.

James P. Roberts

James P. Roberts is the author of six previous collections of poetry, including One Hundred Breaths, which was published by Portage Press in 2020. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin where he is a regional Vice-President for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and is active in many literary endeavors. Recently, he has resumed his alter persona as “The Captain” and begun performing at area musical Open Mics, playing guitar, mandolin and charango.

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