The Potato Eaters
They do not smell the oil lamp burning,
it does not make their eyes water,
the dust which fills the house
came from across the valley.
Outside, the stars
push on the roof with light.
The potato eaters huddle
in a hunger we can’t understand,
we don’t have the gut for it anymore.
The chairs are rough, uncomfortable perhaps,
table unsquare --- only the lamp
keeps the walls from crushing them, and us.