Note (July 27, 2013): A revised version of this poem was published in the Free State Review, Summer 2013 issue.
When I visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2010, I thought I might write a series of poems based on his paintings. Although I made notes of my thoughts and impressions, I never made an earnest attempt to start the project (with the exception of my poem based around "The Fishing Boats at Saintes Maries de la Mer"). Recent blog posts by Author Amok on ekphrastic poems provided the encouragement to start up the project. The first poem in this project is inspired by Van Gogh's "The Potato Eaters." You can find the painting on the Van Gogh Museum's site.
THE POTATO EATERS
In the dim light of our lamp
we gather for our evening meal,
the steaming plate before us.
Apples from the Earth, they are called.
Adam and Eve's gift, I say--
we did not dig in Paradise.
Father serves out our portions.
Mother pours the strong, dark tea.
We eat our simple meal,
the day's labors lifted from our backs.