April Poem a Day Challenge, Day 30

Today’s prompt was  the phrase “bury the _______.”  I decided to write a villanelle about superstitions/ old wives’ tales concerning when to plant potatoes because one has to bury the  potato eyes to plant them.  Thus the title —

 

When to Bury the Potato Eyes:

You have to plant potatoes on a moonless night,
according to a tale that’s told by some old wives.
Clearly, their old husbands thought them right.

Sleepy though they were, they put up no fight,
got back out of bed when told “It’s time to rise.
You have to plant potatoes on a moonless night.”

Wives had sliced potatoes with all their might
that day, cutting each potato eye to exact size.
Clearly, their old husbands thought them right.

Other old wives recommend a little different rite:
“Plant Good Friday evening because,” they advise,
“you have to plant potatoes on a moonless night.”

Easter being moon-phase-driven, no moonlight
shines Good Friday evening, proving them wise.
Clearly, their old husbands thought them right.

Weary from a day of work, no husband felt delight
at planting in the dark, but they listened to their wives:
“You have to plant potatoes on a moonless night.”
Clearly, their old husbands thought them right.

Marian O’Brien Paul

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About marianobrienpaul

Poet, aspiring novelist, teacher, mother, grandmother, world traveler (lived in Turkey 3 years and then taught at Cukurova U there under Fulbright program for one year; lived on northwest coast of Co. Mayo Ireland for half a year), advocate for the mentally ill.
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