Poem: Lima Beans

By: Claire Scott

Lima Beans

Every Sunday my mother serves burnt lima beans
doused in bitterness and butter. Her special

recipe. We tumble in from church where my
father sings Bach in the filtered light of stained

glass saints. Us kids in the front row under the glare of
his fixed eye. In our Sunday best we pinch and poke

pretending to listen. She full of night’s pills
and alcohol. Lumpy house coat askew.

Hair a-fly. Cook’s day off. Air thick with smoky resentment. My father clears his throat to say

a wobbly grace. Us kids never sure exactly what
we are grateful for. We sit to a bleak meal seasoned

with spite. She rearranges her food, listless, vacant, twirling her hair. We stare at our plates of burnt

beans. Us kids just sit, eyes down. No kicking
under the table or sticking out silent tongues.

Every Sunday.

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