I’ve been tagged by my friend, poet Brianna Pike, to post a poem of mine (published, early draft, loved or hated) each day for five days and each day, I’m to tag another poet to join the challenge. Since yesterday’s poem was about a moon garden, and I decided to stick with the theme. Today’s poem, “July Beans,” is about a summer vegetable garden.
Although I didn’t leave in Tennessee as a child, we came here every summer to visit grandparents. “July Beans” was birthed out of memories of being at my paternal grandparents’ house. They had a large yard, and my cousins and I would run around and play all kinds of games: freeze tag, hide and seek – do kids even play that stuff these days? My grandmother was often outside working in her garden or putting sheets on the clothesline. Every now and then I would help her with the garden, and I particularly remember a big pot of freshly picked beans sitting on the kitchen counter.
I think this poem is also a little bit about how I remember my relationship with my grandmother back then. I remember wanting to please her. (I would say I’m a recovering people-pleaser, so that makes sense.) I also remember what a hard worker she was/is.
If I recall correctly, I wrote this poem after hearing poet Linda Bierds speak about the lyrical narrative poem. It’s been a while and I can’t remember everything she said right now, but I know she inspired me. I really wanted to set a scene for the reader and to have a poem that flowed quickly, but still told a little story. “July Beans” was published at Flycatcher Journal in 2013.