Poetry Friday: The Roundup is HERE!

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That’s What You Wrote About the Green Beans

Dear Sugarplum,
I picked the first of the beans today.
I’ll cook them the way Dad liked.
Overcook them, really, 
flavored with plenty of bacon grease.
There’s a cucumber ready, too.
I’ll slice it up and sprinkle it with vinegar and sugar.
No tomatoes yet
except for a few cherry tomatoes.
I ate them in the early morning, 
the way you used to
before you grabbed your bike from the little building
and headed off to the pool.
What should I have with the beans?
Maybe just a sandwich with slices of leftover pot roast.
Well, it’s just about time to go to coffee. Arby’s today.
Rae’s in Nebraska, but everyone else will be there.
Love,
Mom

That’s what you wrote about the green beans.
Or what you would have written
if you were
still
here.


© Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

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A couple of weeks ago, Linda (A Word Edgewise) offered up her third annual “Clunker Exchange.” I chose the line “That’s what you wrote about the green beans,” and I couldn’t have been more surprised by the poem (and memories) those eight words were able to elicit. Thank you, Linda, for this beautiful not-a-clunker-to-me!

Now let’s see what you’ve been writing (or reading) these days! Are you getting ready to take part in the Sealey Challenge? Share your stack if you’ve made one! Can’t imagine reading a book of poetry every day in August? Children’s poetry books count!!

I’m going totally old-school with the roundup this week. Leave your link and a short description in the comments. That’s it. If you’re not able to comment for some reason, I’ll help: mary lee dot hahn at gmail

25 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: The Roundup is HERE!”

  1. Thanks for bringing me to your green bean patch via your Mom’s letter poem–it’s delish–love the casualness too, and your pic! Thanks also for hosting the roundup Mary Lee. My poem this week is about Covid, which my husband came down with. I also included links for Monarch articles as just today they were unfortunately listed as Endangered: https://moreart4all.wordpress.com/2022/07/21/poetry-friday-covid-cakewalk-monarchs-endangered/

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! I was loving the voice of that poem…and THEN got to your description of the clunker it came from. Dang! You turned that line I threw away into a gem. It totally feels like a visit with your Mom. So many little details from the names to the mention of Arby’s, foods out of the garden to be stars of the dinner show. It’s just perfect. And, the fact that there were surprises in the writing of it makes me SO HAPPY! Thank you for exchanging a clunker! I need one from you…but of course…you don’t have clunkers do you?

    I had a completely different idea for PF this week until two poetry encounters caught me by surprise. Love that!
    https://awordedgewiselindamitchell.blogspot.com/

    And, Ethical ELA had a super prompt this week that resulted in a new poem, Summer Stars, on Star’s padlet. (link in my post)

    Thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi MaryLee! Thank you for hosting today and the poem. I think about this a lot lately, the things I wish I could talk to loved ones passed away about. I also wonder what my kids will want to ask when I’m gone. Morbid perhaps but something I do wonder about. Hopefully that is many years away 🙂 If not decades. 🙂

    This week I’m launching my new book: [dis]connection. It is a novel-in-verse sci-fi/dark fantasy. There is both tech and magic 🙂 I hope everyone enjoys: https://timkulp.com/home/launch-disconnection

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I very much enjoyed your green bean poem, Mary Lee. It had a nostalgic tone and a poignant ending. It also provided me with additional cooking insights, so I have benefitted on numerous levels. You have done colossal with this so-called, clunker.
    I am exploring ‘kennings’ as a poetic device this week. It’s an opportunity to indulge in some wonderful wordplay. I am grateful to the Vikings for gifting us, kennings.
    https://alanjwrightpoetrypizzazz.blogspot.com/2022/07/kenning-poems.html

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Mary Lee, you have created a heart-tugging poem from that “clunker.” I’ve been thinking about how the voices of loved ones linger, and your poem shows this beautifully. The letter format is perfect –it’s so breezy, casual and present, and then the clunker and your final lines rearrange that reality and the whole poem shifts. LOVE IT! I’m in with a few digestively-inspired poems today and my apologies for them! lol https://nixthecomfortzone.com/2022/07/22/pf-poetic-indigestion/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary Lee, your clunker line turned into a beautiful memory of your mother. I wonder if you have any letters saved from her. I know I have cards with short thoughts saved and they are my little treasures. I am offering some memories of summer past and thoughts on summer present
    https://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2022/07/summer-on-my-mind.html. Thank you for hosting. I will slowing make PF rounds this weekend because I am on slow mode now. It’s in the high 90 degree temps here so we are to cooling in the pool.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mary Lee,

    This poem that starts about green beans had me teary eyed at the end :
    “Or what you would have written
    if you were
    still
    here”–
    Seems that phrasing could open so many more poems about your relationship with your mom, or others who are gone.

    Thank you for sharing this heartfelt poem. Made me think of the plums from “This Is Just To Say” poem at first. Now I will find green beans synonymous with your sentiments.

    Like

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