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Garden Beans

They come at night and eat

my garden beans, still small,

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just venturing their green selves

into new leaves. The deer

crop them off neatly, leaving

their precise prints behind,

justified, perhaps,

by the startling grace

of every step, every tight motion.

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The snails are perhaps justified

by their intense strangeness,

sliming through midnight on one foot

bearing a crusty roof, eyes protruding

on stalks, reeled in sometimes,

experts on filagreeing bean leaves

to nets of veins. In either case,

whatever the justifications,

I'd rather have the beans. Myself.