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Last week I brought seven bunches of beets home from the auction. They are one of my favorite root vegetables and CPA farmers know how to grow some beautiful beets! So I had a pickling party (…of two…thanks Mom) and ended up with five big jars of pickled beets. Since my fingertips are still stained red and beets are on the mind, I thought I’d share this poem.


I wish to lie on my belly
chin on crossed hands

I wish to watch the tiny seed
grow into a dark heart,
feel the blanket of grass on my back,
the root hairs tickling my scalp.

Does the radicle run deep first,
then enlarge itself at the top?

Or does the seed grow wide
from the start, like a 5-year-old tumbling
round who has yet to lose
baby fat?

Do the worms pray at the base of the beet?
Those onion spires of the carbon cathedral.

Does the rabbit say grace before
nibbling red-rimmed leaves?

Is the beet grateful to be growing?


Molly Sowash is a national service AmeriCorps member with Rural Action‘s Sustainable Agriculture team. You’ll find her at the Chesterhill Produce Auction loading produce, checking customers out, or making friends with the livestock. She studied Creative Writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and lived in Minneapolis for three years before returning to her roots in Ohio.


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