The crunch as my trowel bites the soil is Heaney-esque.
I stoop low, hands buried in cool dirt
and the sky blooms blue
like an eggshell washed in old paint water.
I sink my knees into the clay and bend over like a cat
amongst the daffodils with their heads tipped up like tiny crowns
under a bush spread out like a huge green hand.
The yellow plastic of my raincoat crinkles.
A worm has beaten me to the hole I’m digging;
when I pull apart the soil, I find
a slender punctuation mark in the mud.
Its pink body threads through the dark clay.
Sometimes it is hard to dig a hole,
to look at what is not and replace it with what will be,
when the earth opens up, only to reveal
that something is already there.
I stay in the garden digging holes only to fill them up
until the lingering birthday-candle smell of a
bonfire blows in from next door
and the sun, a waxy flare, sets in the butter-white sky.