Beans Mary Oliver--1935--2019 They are not like peaches or squash. plumpness isn't for them. They like being lean, as if for the narrow path. the beans themselves sit qui'- tilly inside their green pods. In- stinctively one picks with care, never tearing down fine vine, never noticing their crisp bod- ies, or feeling their willingness for the pot, for the fire. I have thought sometimes that something--I can't name it-- watches us I walk the rows, accept- ing the gift of their lives to assist mine. I know what you think: this is fool- ishness. They are only vegetables. Even the blossoms with which they begin are small and pale, hardly sig- nificant our hands, or minds, our feet hold more intelligence. With this I have no quarrel. But what about virtue?