Bugging Beans

Heirloom Greasy beans, the tastiest on the planet

Bugging Beans

I feel like I just hoed the cornfield
Mom says and sinks
deeper into the sofa cushions.

I hold her parchment hands,
smile at her fresh expression,
no small victory over a nine pound
weight loss the past two weeks,
anemia caused by evasive internal bleeding.

I’ve never heard that one before,
I say and provoke her eyes to flutter
with a trace of wit,
a stronghold of memory
still holding her childhood hostage.
I bet I know what you hated
most about farming.

Oh yes, Mom’s face animates.
Bugging beans. 
We’d pick the bugs off the beans
and drop them in a can
with a bit of kerosene.

She revives for a cup of tea,
pushes her walker around the house,
returns to the sofa and her mother’s quilt.

Honey, I’m at the end, she confides.

Well, there’s one good thing
about the finish line, Mom.

Her eyes wait.

You won’t have to bug beans.

The one who gave me life
blinks, smiles. I pull familiar
patchwork patterns to her chin.

She rests from hoeing the cornfield.

Iris Lee Underwood

Mel waters his beans, first crop he's planted. Mom lives in our garden.