Sitting on my heels peeling
grass from clods and browning
my arms, or whacking stubborn
clumps with hoe’s bowed back,
plunging its prongs in shocking smacks
that yield a clatter of small white rocks.
Picking them out one by one, tossing
them to a growing pile that satisfies
without proving progress. The sun
reveals the bits of shade each day will bring
as earth admits worms, roots, and onions
blithely being amid what thoroughly has
been. Who used this comb to smooth her hair?
What string of circumstances put this strange
iron thing precisely there? We live
atop a host of buried worlds, putting
things in, bringing them up, making
others’ forgetting into our finds.
My son comes out to check the progress of
the plot. He’s not as awed as I would like.
We will plant beans and herbs and brussels sprouts—
his favorite—and watch them green the dirt
behind the safety of the rabbit fence.
June will be salads, August tomatoes, and
luck might grace our fall with celeriac.
What else we’ve planted, treasures hid
or things forgotten, it’s hard to say.
Someday someone else will dig them up.