The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Helen Ruggieri

She sent me out to sell the cow
because we needed money for milk.
I swapped it for a bag of magic beans,
and we had a big fight because
she said I was stupid and useless
and she threw them out the window
saying I had ruined her
and we would starve.
We woke up late,
the house shadowed by the vines.
I was hungry so I cut off some
of the leaves, stir fried them
with a little oil, some salt,
a few grains of pepper.
Later we poached it, broiled it,
boiled it, baked it, stewed it,
sold it to the neighbors,
the town, the state, canning it;
like an outraged zucchini, it came back,
it came back, and in the fall,
the seeds blew everywhere
and the vines tightened around the house
the wind roared like a giant
thundering through the forest.
No one was hungry,
and only in nightmares would
some malcontent whimper about
the feeble thrum of a harp
singing to be rescued.

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