Nana capped beans on the stifling screen porch
in the summers of my youth.
She had a cloud of white hair and said little,
we were all business at the beans that were heaped
in a basket between us.
Her cotton dress splashed with tiny faded flowers
strained at her girth and all I could think about
was the pony.
The white pony in the field next door
that Uncle William would let me ride
when those beans were done.
I loved Nana, though she said almost nothing to me, ever.
We just sat there, hot and silent, hunched
over the tedious task of capping beans.
Me thinking about the pony.
Nana thinking about dinner or rain or chores,
lost babies, wild daughters, or wandering husbands.
I’ll never know that part.