On Cleaning White Beans

I don't have an intro for this one, sending a hug :)

On Cleaning White Beans

They appeared on a shelf in my pantry
no doubt a purchase from a bin at the coop,
long forgotten. A poor lot,
many are misshapen and discolored
some obvious mung and mold.

It is a hectic morning
and I plan to soak them overnight
for soup tomorrow.
But now I am standing at the stove
resentful of sorting.
For such a mundane task,
I am too important, too busy.

I think of the hard boiled eggs
sold peeled at the deli,
the pomegranate seeds
offered hermetically sealed,
perfect popcorn kernels, 
shelled nuts of many kinds.
Perhaps machines do it all now,
the hearty sinking to the bottom
in some wind tunnel,
robotic hands count and choose.

I think of men and women idle in bars
and coffee shops, children playing
Candy Crush on their smart phones.
So many labors no longer needed
in modern society-
no more winnowing and mucking,
sifting and plucking.

It is surprisingly satisfying
to pull out the nasties.
I am suddenly purposeful,
my duty for once unambiguous-
Whole and hale! Pass or fail!

The beans are small as baby’s teeth,
smooth as pebbles at the seashore.
I imagine women around a blanket,
the crop harvested and dried,
children helping until games tempt.
There would be chatter and laughter,
the sun high overhead
or rain,
rhythmic upon a simple roof.