Joyce S. Brown
I’m a retired English teacher (high school and college) with 53 years of marriage, two children, four grandchildren, one dog. I’ve had poems in Poetry, The American Scholar, The Tennessee Review, Yankee, and others!
What We See
For an exercise in writing class,
the teacher asked two friends
to come, then stage a fight,
working up from slights
to fisticuffs and rage.
The students, taking it
as real, sat numb,
until one man pushed
the other from the room.
The startled class was told
to write down all they’d heard
and seen. Their writings were
vague shadow shows on a screen.
I once read a poem
to my sister and brother –
a biting poem about our father.
“That’s not the man I knew!”
my sister sobbed. “That’s him,
all right,” my brother grinned.
The poor beets didn’t have a chance.
Neither did my gentle bean and pepper plants.
Collards and tomatoes grew above
the creeping green potato vines that overtook
the space I thought I’d parceled fairly.
I’m at a loss with vegetable aggression.
Faint-hearted, I will watch this progression,
learn to eat a sweet potato pie, give many yams
away. Winter will kill the garden anyway,
and I will turn to poetry, coward that I am.
©2016 Joyce S. Brown
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