HomeSouthern VoiceA Flower Bed Graveyard

A Flower Bed Graveyard

by Tyler Allen Penny

A flower bed graveyard for
larger than life
expectations
scattered with pecan shells and
family pets in shoeboxes
looked upwards to
browning bare branches which
stretched to the moon like a skeletal hand

underneath sat a child
swinging on a bench swing, taking off
with his matchbox car

in a northbound breeze from the gulf
the smell of crepe myrtle
reminded him of the crawlspace
under his grandmother’s house
a safe-to-say-anything darkness,
where cold dirt clung to sweat on his face
as he listened
to secrets overhead

Tyler Allen Penny is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in English and Psychology. He owns a small business on the beach of Dauphin Island, Alabama, and lives in the southern half of Mississippi, where he writes poetry as well as short stories. He has poems forthcoming in Salt Journal later this spring. 

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3 COMMENTS
  • Barbara Caceres / April 2, 2014

    One of poetry’s gifts is the ability to take us to places we’ve never been; or to places we’ve forgotten. Tyler’s poem took me back to my grandmother ‘s small duplex in Jackson, Tennessee where at age five I loved to spend time under an enormous leafy tree in the back yard. The tree was so large and provided so much shade that no grass grew there. I took grandmas’s broom and spent hours sweeping the hard dirt, pretending I was a grown woman with my own house to take care of.

  • wyn / April 3, 2014

    “under his grandmother’s house
    a safe-to-say-anything darkness,
    where cold dirt clung to sweat on his face
    as he listened
    to secrets overhead”
    I can relate. I was usually underneath my grandmother’s house, digging with a tablespoon, with her chickens for company. The family cemetery was on the hill from her house and that was another one of my playgrounds as a child. I loved this poem, because it reminded me that some things are too precious to ever be forgotten. I could almost feel the cold dirt beneath the house, as I read this talented poet’s poem.

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