Our String Bean Girls
We have forgotten the ways of slow growth
and the harvest that derives from careful husbandry:
how the wintering earth shrinks and hardens,
protecting the new growth at its heart.
Our new spring crop, our string bean girls,
they are seeded and watered under glass:
their pink and purple kernels and pale green shoots
induced to scarlet brilliance too soon.
How painful to watch their leggy growth,
as they tremble on the edge of early fruiting.
Blessed is the harvest that ripens with time;
we, we tear them early from the vine.
(for the Kabul women’s poetry club)
'both personal and political’
it always is
poetry is personal
everything is political
even here, in the cosy west,
they lie in wait for us
‘they’ would have us believe
that the war is over
they would have us
put up our bright swords
'writing poetry is a sin'
but once our mouths closed on it,
once we had tasted
its clear, sweet juice
then we were lost to their authority
now many of us write in secret
‘we talk to the paper’
we talk freely
our hearts speak
it is better than the silence
that is death
A Pushcart nominee for 2013, Abigail Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction from her home near Redruth in Cornwall. She has been published in more than eighty magazines and journals and her poetry has been widely anthologized. Her website is at abiwyatt.wix.com.