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The summer when Jolie’s
man was played for apples
for the hand he lay,
she hawed for corn whiskey
and her dry face, and dug

an extra big hill for the pinto beans.
Her sisters, in the buns, they knew,
they brought her breakfast come May,
when the sprouts were long and
twisting up her burnt arms. She had

a pitcher and a needle, and they did
without her at the jars, the hoes,
the chickweed and lambs ear,
and they did all her milking too
while she stitched a hat and sat

the stake this season. At first
she closed her eyes when the
bees came to lick her white
blossoms with legs, but, in time,
she looked close at how all that was

life came caught in their quivering
yammers. And her sisters picked
the beans till, late July, she stood for
the orange moon, and wound off

feeders from her elbows,
from around her neck.
and lay the hill upon the weeds
and took a walk, and had a wash
in the deep end of the creek.


Magdalene Fry teaches Composition in her homestate of West Virginia. Her students think she probably likes to listen to harp music, but looks exactly like no one. In her spare time, Magdalene likes to learn about Saturn and plants.

© 2010, Magdalene Fry

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