Warts and all, illustrated by Angelin Miller

Warts and all 

At the marketplace, my eggs sell themselves.
My basil’s gone by nine, and my rhubarb
pies fetch a creamy price, so my walk back’s
weightless. It’s just me and my empty cart.
You see? It doesn’t matter that my face

scares bats. By day, my visage stays downward
on dirt, scales and coins, but my nose lifts up
ambling back with a jingle as the stars
glint like tavern lamplights off raised ale cups.
If I can jingle, who could say I’m cursed?

I was foul and fourteen when my pop-pop
pulled me bodily out to the garden,
bent my stubborn knees beside the turnips,
gave me a trowel, looked in me and said: “Start.
Warts and all. Start.” My body sprouted warm.

That day I became apprentice to dirt.
It never kills me that their comments hurt.


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