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You have returned to find so much more
To despair: the flesh whiter,
More helpless, the city stinking
As never before, and those
Whom you had so carefully avoided
Are bringing tea and blankets now,
The bounty of their gardens.

Later, you find a potato
Rolled from the table, rolled
To the corner where it rests
With unnameable food crumbs,
Cobwebs, and dust. Still grubby
From the earth, it squats like a rock
In its armor of thin skin and dirt,
Eyes on all sides watching. Everything about it
Says I won’t budge Everything
Repeats how it wants to remain,
Not to be boiled or mashed or left
To soften, stinking, in the cupboard
Beneath the sink. Everything about it
Says how wrong you were, it says
Look: the world is like this.