Give Strength to Your Tomatoes
Or at least the opening and closing of each line. Just as we put our tomatoes in a cages to give them something to grow on, the scaffolding of a poem can be your opening and closing words for each line.
A poetic weed also asks you to look at where you end and begin your lines. You should go for strength, clarity, and narrative gap here. You want strong, concrete words that can open up a sense of suspense for what's coming in the next line.
Let's put up our tomato towers in the poem I'm working on:
"Mom, what's a growth spurt?"
she asks from her car seat perch
Learning the lyrics of "Jesus Loves Me"?
Converting them to, "Jesus send my grandpa back to me"
two days after he died?
Learning about lent while sliding
chicken onto the restaurant floor,
announcing, "I gave it up for lent."
It's responding to "What is heaven like?"
with "It's where you go and get a new
I tell you, "Your body stories all the good food
you grow double quick."
Yet, I'm thinking,
there's so much more
than two rows of seats
and the little girl
I can still see in the
rear view mirror
We're getting closer one bloom at a time. I hope. Here, by turning the answer into separated questions, I was able to lead with "learning" and "converting" and remove "your" and "then" and I worked on the line breaks to set up the possibilities of the answers with "or," "maybe," and "but" they're not powerful words, but I'm hoping the single words work like the base in a fulcrum, balancing the ideas on either side.
How about you?
Weed away my friend! You'll never know what may grow from it.