In seventh grade
they showed us a movie,
black and white with no words.
A poor old lady in Paris
cherishes a bean plant
that she keeps on a windowsill
in her dark apartment.
One day she goes to the park.
She sits on a bench in the sun
with the plant in her lap.
Boys and girls approach,
teasing and jostling.
She manages to escape
but drops the plant.
The pot shatters.
Back in her apartment she cries.
She loved the plant.
It was all she had.
I cry too.
Okay, I found the film on the Internet.
It’s not in black and white after all.
The old woman is a seamstress.
She takes the plant out every day
and when it’s gotten too big for its pot
transplants it in one of the park’s formal gardens.
There are no mean French kids,
I don’t know where that came from,
just some groundskeepers who dig up the plant
and toss it in the garbage. The woman
retrieves it and takes the beans back to her hovel
where she plants them in the empty pot.
The cycle of life is renewed. No one cries.