Poems & Essays

13 Jul

Bean Saving

General/Column 3 Responses

The beanpods
like yellowed party favors
snap and spill into the bowl.
Tight seeds jingle on glass.

Outside, the garden black,
burlap tossed back from beds
as if from fevered sleep.

Rain comes down and rain
comes down. The beans
leave their pale circles
inside the husk, like the white
behind my wedding ring.

With our same hands that planted
we fill the jar for spring.

We tell each other again
about the trellised vines
how they climbed all seven rungs
and when they reached air
kept going, lacing together
like fingers, getting closer
to the sun. The dark

comes early, winter falling down
around us. In last year’s snow
I thought I’d be spent
come October, broken open
and provident as earth.

I shake with it—this sensible
putting away,
these sketches
of next year’s garden.


Melissa Reeser Poulin’s poetry appears in Water~Stone Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, Ruminate, and basalt. She holds an MFA from Seattle Pacific University. She co-edited Winged: New Writing on Bees, an anthology on the relationship between humans and honeybees, a limited-edition book of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from 36 new and established writers. Proceeds benefitted pollinator conservation and education efforts.

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  1. Sandra S. McRae

    July 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    So many beautiful moments in this poem…the hands that planted…the white inside the pods, behind the wedding ring. Thank you for capturing all that gardens hold and portend.

    • Melissa

      July 14, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      Thank you, Sandra!

  2. Shay Cook

    July 17, 2016 at 1:47 am

    This poem captures intimacy and family time in the shelling and snapping of peas. I love the alliteration of snap and spill. The way you bring the hands into play is lovely — the same hands that snap beans, hold a wedding ring and portrays the union of marriage and intimacy. Beautiful poem.


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