Sunday, June 3, 2012


Editor's note: "I once had an aunt who thought little boys couldn't grow up straight and tall unless they consumed great quantities of vegetables, especially the leafy green type -- and this she endeavored to impress upon me," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "She never succeeded."

I was brought up in the country,
And I learned, when just a boy,
To be thankful for the blessings
I was given to enjoy;
I'm sure not high-falootin',
And I'm not a man of means,
But if you please, don't ever try
To feed me turnip greens!

My mother always taught me
That it was very rude
For little boys to grumble,
Or complain about their food;
We were 'bout as poor as church mice,
And I know what hunger means,
But I never did get quite so low
As to eat no turnip greens!

I enjoy good country cookin'
More than I could ever tell,
And I'll always come a-runnin'
When they ring the dinner bell;
I'm not a fussy eater,
And my fancy always leans
Towards old-fashioned vittles,
But not t'wards turnip greens!

Now, dandelions ain't so bad,
When they're fixed with bacon grease,
But turnip greens, like spinach,
Were made for ducks and geese!
I could live on corn and taters,
And I don't mind navy beans,
But please, dear Lord, deliver me
From eatin' turnip greens!

--Acres of Verse (1994)

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