The beans have been left
too long to themselves,
so here I am on a Sunday, picking,
with a storm building in the west.

Every third or fourth
is fit for selling, the rest
bound for the canning pot.
I take one by one the little, wild bush
and comb its leaves, bend it sideways

and forward to find each slender bean,
each bean grown fat and starchy.
On some there are these small-bodied spiders,
whose legs, it seems, attach unfortunately
to the prickly velvet of the pods.

A few I try carefully to dislodge,
but only succeed in detaching
the bodies from their legs. So the rest
I merely smash and wipe away.
Most farming is murder of some kind.

Even the beans are children
of a sort, stolen like eggs from the nest.
A dozen off each plant, at least, and still
they are bedecked with purple flowers,
promising more.

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