The Simple Truth

‘A poem for such a day as this’

Daniela Dragas
4 min readJun 15, 2024

a poem for such a day as this

— is a column where I share my favourite poems and their creators, some of whom might be familiar and some not.

Whatever the case, I hope they elicit a smile, a grin, a tear, a smirk … or, in Kafka’s words — be an axe for the frozen sea within us.

As always — it would be great to hear your thoughts.

A poem for such a day as today is:

The Simple Truth
by Philip Levine

I bought a dollar and a half’s worth of small red potatoes,
took them home, boiled them in their jackets
and ate them for dinner with a little butter and salt.
Then I walked through the dried fields
on the edge of town. In middle June the light
hung on in the dark furrows at my feet,
and in the mountain oaks overhead the birds
were gathering for the night, the jays and mockers
squawking back and forth, the finches still darting
into the dusty light. The woman who sold me
the potatoes was from Poland; she was someone
out of my childhood in a pink spangled sweater and sunglasses
praising the perfection of all her fruits and vegetables
at the road-side stand and urging me to taste
even the pale, raw sweet corn trucked all the way,
she swore, from New Jersey. “Eat, eat” she…