Karissa Knox Sorrell

July Beans

That was the summer the hummingbirds drank
Grandma out of Kool-aid, everything ripening –
tomatoes plump, pink, cucumbers going yellow
and soft, green beans dangling on the trellis,
impatient as children. Grandma’s cotton dress
waving at the knees, she sat me on the porch
with the pot between my knees, and I
tugged the thin strings down to snap
like threads of a hem, then breaking - ends first, then
middle. She came up once or twice to check on
me, rescuing a dozen poorly pulled beans
from the kettle and piling them back into my lap.
In the garden my grandmother filled two baskets:
one for the ripe things, another for the rotten,
and behind her the wind tried to help
white sheets escape the line.

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