She left the house for about three weeks
And one afternoon
She comes back
To fetch her shoes
He is in his garden
Hands muddy
He just bought two young beans
He looks much older, or
Maybe it is just a gloomy day

“Where did you buy the beans?” she asks
Just like she used to ask him things
like that
He hears, but gets the question wrong
“Why did I buy the beans?
... to keep the hope.” he answers
“no, where did you buy them?” she repeats
“oh, in the Sunday market.” He answers

She walks around with her old shoes
The garden is still dead from the winter
“you planted some beans several weeks ago, I remember” she says
“yes, but the slugs ate them.”
He pours some new soil in a pot
His blue jeans get dirty
“you know I grow my beans from the seeds, but
slugs take them.” he says

The wind is chilly in
An April garden
She notices, some white hair
Hidden behind his ears
she remembers
he used to talk about beans all night
broad beans, string beans, asparagus beans, kidney beans
he used to love her so much


XIAOLU GUO 7 June 2005 London





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