by Mary McKenzie
Sweet potato, my sweet, sweet, sweet potato.
What have we done to you?
We have candied you and turned you into pie.
We have marshmallowed and brown sugared you beyond recognition.
We have taken your perfection and in unique American tradition.
Why? Why? WHY?!
Is it because it was Grandma's specialty and it makes us feel warm and loved?
Is it because our tastedbuds are spoiled and we require only sweets?
Or is it because all of us don't have diabetes yet?
Or more simply, is it that outside of the holidays,
It has not occurred to us to taste your natural goodness,
To benefit from your superior nutritional stores?
Of all vegetables, simply baked, you are #1.
With a score of 184, you have smoked your nearest vegetable competitor by 100 points.
Your protein sustains, your fiber regulates,
Your vitamins A (nearly twice the RDA) and C are joined by bodybuilders calcium and iron.
Your naturally occurring sugars and complex carbohydrates are friend to the diabetic,
and comfort to the hungry dieter.
You, my delicious friend, are an effing rock star.
Have I thanked you yet for being so delicious?
I eat your delicious peel knowing that oatmeal ain't got nothin on you.
Sometimes I sprinkle you with a little ground pepper and sea salt.
I admit, sometimes I even add a little bit of real buttah.
But mostly, I marvel at you au naturale.
In the pale, lumpy body the creator gave you,
Lovingly housing so many nutritional gifts.
And on Thanksgiving and every other day,
I am thankful for you,
My sweet, sweet potato.
P.S. At present, it is 5 degrees outside. I'm not even shitting you. It is possible that tomorrow's Ode will be to our gas furnace.