Devil’s Snare

I was fourteen, wiry, strong,

with skin browned by a fiery sun. 

Its rays beat down on my head

in those humid summer fields

where I slowly ‘walked the beans’. 

Walking the beans meant pulling up

the sticky, thorny Jimson weeds

that grew wild among uncle Paul’s 

perfectly furrowed rows of soy beans. 

It was also known as Devil’s Snare

and richly earned its evil name. 

The work was backbreaking, hot,

and my soft ‘city boy’ hands

were soon torn and bleeding bad. 

Aunt Beulah tended to my pain

with Mercurochrome and love. 

The work had to be done, of course,

there was no use complaining. 

Uncle said, “Before you harvest beans

you have to rip out the work of Satan.”

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing this snapshot, Rod.
    Your uncle’s quote resonates. It is a fitting metaphor for so many aspects of life.

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