A Hill of Beans

The bean is the perfect lesson, capsule of seed coat
enshrouding cotyledon, the embryonic epicotyl leaves,
the radicle ready for reaching. In first grade,
we lined glass jars with damp blotting paper and slipped

beans between to spy what hides underground—the unfolding
growth to green. Entranced by experiment, I unsnapped
a bean pod and realized each seed a plant with pods with beans
inside, and saw—if not God’s eternity—infinity. I sowed

the seeds in soil along the drive, a place I played alone—my
head, a fertile world. My secret sprouts emerged, unfurled
their lobes and leaves, then met the lawnmower blade. So I
learned possibility is only hollow theory: a mean conclusion

reaped. Each bean I swallow, I devour a garden—this I
amount to. You’ve taught me, beans; I will teach you about me.