Mendel’s Curse

Thumbing peas from their pods
I can’t help but think
of Punnett squares
and the phytochemicals
that would protect me
from a patrimonial predisposition
to cancer.

Sitting cross-legged
on the couch with a bowl
inherited from my husband’s grandmother
in my lap,
I prefer to think
of the pea-shellers
who’ve gone before

sifting cool green marbles
through their fingers

feeling peas.