blackbirdonline journalFall 2009  Vol. 8  No. 2
print version

the dead worm their way through glacial till

The dead worm their way through glacial till,
empty eye sockets useless, but their fingers
still know how to scratch and pull among the roots.
Some inner compass deposits them back

in the garden plot of home where they hunker
down and hide.  Above ground, their ghosts
hover in the shimmer of light that glints
between the leafy, windblown shadows.

The living go on with the harvest and wonder
why the sweet radishes suddenly soured. 
Seeking sanctuary in beans and melons,
they leave the raspberries in the briars.

It’s the battered, broken hands of the dead
that bear the bitterness of everything left unsaid.  end

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