The Taste Of Beets

February 6, 2017
By gaeble_begonias SILVER, Salt Lake City, Utah
gaeble_begonias SILVER, Salt Lake City, Utah
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I am not what you think I am.
Not the buttons on my shirt,
Nor the pleats in my skirt.
I am a wanderer
Maybe the last on earth.

There's a man in the street selling bunches of beets.
Thinking of merlot, talking for show.
I admire his work from my second story cubical,
Wishing I could flee to him.
Unwillingly being here after hours on a warm late May afternoon has me feeling, claustrophobic.
Yearning to applaud the sunset while enjoying a purple stained, beet filled smile.
Mostly regretting not thinking of all the things I would miss out on when I took this time consuming, ten dollar rate.
And wondering if it's too late now to change my mind.

I run to the beet man with my cashed out paycheck of the week.
I buy every beet he has and I throw them in the backpack I used to hike with as an adolescent.
I drive through the night until the morning comes, it's June now.
It's warmer, wherever I am, but not far enough away from where I've felt stuck all my life,
So I keep driving.

It's July now, the heat is nice.
If I never felt air conditioning again I'd be alright.
And I'm nowhere near out of money.
All the saving I've done, all boxes I fit in, all the strict rules I followed are finally, truly, paying off.
I feel free without all of those things.

In Maine there's a lighthouse that no longer lights.
I see clearly all the stars brightly beaming each night.
I can see clearly now,
All the impossibilities are gone.
And in moments like these,
Finally, I can taste the beets.

The author's comments:

I was inspired to write this poem while sitting in my AP Studio Art classroom. The room is big and full of large transparent windows that seem disproportionate to the rest of the room. I always chose to sit at the wheel closest to the window because every morning a beam of sunlight would come through, sitting directly on that wheel. One day I was sitting there in the sunlight, appreciating the warmth it put on my back, and making yet another not-so-beautiful bowl, and then I realized: I am horrible at ceramics. I can’t even make a decent plain round bowl to bring home for my mom to admire. Each bowl is completely obnoxious and wonky. So why did I continually take studio art semester after semester? As I sat in the sun, loathing my already off center bowl, I came to the conclusion that pottery in pottery class was not the reason I took studio art over and over again. It was the sun beam, the consistent beauty and warmth it gave me every morning. I looked forward to it, I looked forward to peering out the big windows of that classroom and predicting the weather with my art friends, and trying to remember what each cloud meant. Cumulonimbus, cirrus, stratus, and more! I looked out the window that day and I realized I was in that classroom to look at what was outside the classroom, and that wasn’t going to be good enough for me that morning. I wanted to be out experiencing it. For the rest of that class I watched the singular tree in the school yard dancing along with the wind and felt the sunlight touching my face, and the moment the bell rang I headed outside to lay in the flat grass and admire the sun again.
This poem has a special meaning to be, reminding me to lay in the grass, taste the beets, or even, ”stop and smell the roses,” as some would say. I hope all who read this poem find their own personal reminder in it. I encourage you to always keep searching for what gives you happiness and grab as much of whatever that is as you can. Life is short, I think we all could taste the beets a little more often.

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