In a locked apartment
during World War Two,
Wladislaw ate a rotten potato.
He sliced the fuzzy spotted vegetable
straight through the inner eyes.
It had begun sprouting,
tendrils reaching through the skin,
thirsty for a drop of life.
In science class we stuck toothpicks
into the sides of potatoes,
propped them into glasses of water
and watched them grow legs.
They sat on the windowsills
next to the rock candy
we were eager to lick.
When I was twelve,
my elderly neighbor had a decrepit
Camaro that was parked behind his house.
We would sneak back there to look
through the windows, at the enormous
gray thing lying on the front seat.
"I think it's a giant potato," I said,
but nobody knew for sure.
The old man never drove that car,
and we asked him, if we could pool
enough money, would he sell it to
all of us. He said no.
"By the way, what is that big gray thing,
on the front seat?"
"It's a watermelon," he said
and shut the door.