While Looking Back

            Have you noticed that the green bean itself—
after all that winding up the pole—only wants
to fall back to the soil? Is still divided inside
along a tender seam?
                      Either way, you must have done this
as a child, like my little daughter in the room
that smells like sand: Place the soles of your feet
on the floor, let your unstopped joints fold, hug
your knees. There: You’re a bean seed,
like the one tasting water and soil
in the jar on the sill. When the teacher asks you
to uncurl—a hand, an arm, up, to teeter, fingers
waving toward the flat shell of ceiling, do you think
about how a seed, to open, cleaves?

Carolyn Williams-Noren has poems appearing this year in Sugar House Review, Calyx, and Grist. In spring 2015, Dancing Girl Press will publish her chapbook, Small Animals. Carolyn is a 2014 winner of a McKnight Artist Fellowship, selected by Nikky Finney. More at williams-noren.com.