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I Have Something to Say About Potatoes by Beth Mulcahy

I love meat and potatoes

like a good Irish girl

the tuber ties

of my DNA are deep and distant

one hundred and seventy-seven years and

three thousand five hundred miles away

my great great grandmother

burst fighting into a blighted world

from the womb of a woman

married to an Irish farmer

her earliest memories

watching her father

work land stolen from his father

he was allowed to rent back

from absent nobility

watching potatoes she helped dig out

turn poison and disintegrate

to ash in her mother’s hands

watching her mother’s tears

drown clutched rosary beads

watching her father look at her

like the fairies made her a girl

when he so badly needed a boy

watching the cows march away

at gunpoint to be sold

for someone else’s pocket

for someone else to eat

watching her people disappear

I’ll take mine mashed

with salt, butter, and milk

certified angus beef on the side

and none of it for granted


Beth Mulcahy (she/her), a Gen X-er from Michigan, lives in Ohio where she works for a company that provides technology to people without natural speech. She writes poetry, fiction, memoir, and dreams about visiting Scotland. Her work has appeared in various journals. Check out her latest publications at

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