Ode To The Carrot

How wonderful the carrot, sturdy, sweet!
What would a cole slaw be without the bright
sweet orange gratings of this tasty root?
For salads carrot curls, and what beef stew
would be complete without it’s carrot chunks?
I cherish carrot soup on a winter’s day,
warming and nourishing to flesh and bone
and carrot juice for hunger and for thirst.

Descended from the lace of good Queen Ann,
the feathery fronds belie the sturdy root.
Who was it first discovered under ground
the part that nourishes juiced, cooked, or raw?
How glad I am that someone long ago
saw the potential in that pale white root
and turned a lovely flower growing wild
into a vegetable for daily fare.
From that pale slender small yet meaty pith
a patient gardener crafted over time
what we call carrots–orange, long and firm.

In summer Daucus Carrotis’ slender stalks
topped with a white umbrella-like bouquet,
nodding beside New England streets and roads,
delight the eye of many a passer by
whose gaze is for the flower, unaware
that they are seeing carrots true forbears.

Image and poem by Tasha Halpert