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Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010


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I believe in turnips.


They live robustly underground, a life of volume

and girth, while above the dirt, waving

like fans over an Egyptian prince,

turnip leaves know intimately the intrigues of garden air.

From deep tendrils prying the dark, to veins

coursing with sunlight, the turnip

finds form where earth

and air

are a shore.

James Bertolino grew up in Stevens Point, graduated from UW-Oshkosh, then
earned his MFA at Cornell University. Since 1968 he has had 25 books
published by 17 presses in nine states. He now lives in rural Bellingham,
Washington between the Cascade Mountains and Pacific Ocean.