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Contents Page: December 31, 2010, vol 6 no 4

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Susan Nelson Myers


a pot of beans

i'm always reminded of my grandmother's ability to say so much in so few words when i sort and wash a pot of beans. quite a few years back when i'd lost my job and was wondering how i'd feed my two young girls, she said, "well, I've got a pot of beans." this is why i marvel at the power of language...that comment also meant "i'll share until times are better for you" and "your girls won't go hungry" and "basics nurture the soul" all at the same time. my God, what a special woman!

family bible —
a gray hair nestled
in the Book of Ruth


 

Comments by Ray Rasmussen

In very few words, Myers tells a story about her grandmother. With even fewer words (“well, I’ve got a pot of beans”) her grandmother transmits a deep caring about family and a spiritual philosophy developed through what must have been trying times. It’s one of those rare passages where the heart swells and tears start. My one thought was that the already succinct prose didn’t need its last sentence. We already knew that the writer’s grandmother was a special woman. The haiku sharpens the piece by linking to a grey hair marking a section of the family bible. The "Book of Ruth" is a biblical story about a deep spiritual bond between a mother, Naomi,  and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, during trying times. The tangible bible and gray hair page marker serve as a metaphor for the intangible relationship – the depth of bond between mothers and their children.

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