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 

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?

2 thoughts on “Beans

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