In May I planted a whole row of beans
along the back fence of the garden,
pushed each of the small white seeds one inch
into the spring-damp soil. I waited weeks.
Not one came up. Not one.
I planted them again, planted them in twos
two inches apart. I waited weeks. Three
came up. There were over 100 seeds.
I am trying to tell you that sometimes
what we wish for does not happen.
Though we do everything by the rules.
Though we have known success before.
Though we long for our plans to take root,
to bloom, to fruit. Then all through the rows
emerged this spring dozens of volunteer cosmos.
This morning, a generous riot of pink, dark pink
and white fluttering in the spaces where
I’d envisioned only the green of beans.