I'd boil those beans
we was up so high above timberline.
Then when your granddad come home
he'd drop them on that plate
like hail on a chicken coop roof.
Mexican beans, he'd say. Missouri
cooking. And he'd grunt,
don't you know, his folk
all thought I was ugly, I
want you to know, such
feet I had, such an ignorant
I never did get warm.
It was ten miles in to Oak Creek
when Mary was born, drifts
as high as Topper's shoulders.
That first winter I never had me
visitor one, just
that old tin stove, I'd
stoke it and stoke it
and lord how I'd boil those beans.