Widow with empty hand

My vision’s full of holes–the empty cup

of earth beside the river where the boulder lay,

thin footprints in mud, the shoulder of ice

on the lawn with caves of air.  I ache

for warmth, shuffle into soft bits


of forgetfulness.  On a hook in the entry,

his worn brown sweatshirt cradles the hoe.

I slip it on, step into fertile air, make a row.

I kneel in dirt, dropping small seeds.


Another spring.  Tongues of snow slip

back into the woods.  The earth

turns up rocks, leaves, a rusty worm,

the mole’s small bones.  The gravel rakes

hard, scratches into piles. Raw green leaves


of skunk cabbage push up, turning

for a bit of sun.  The dog paws over

the soil, eager for what’s below —

pine cone, severed root, shriveled fern.


My knees leave twin hollows.  The earth packs

down beneath my palm, moist, expectant.


Published in:

Blast Furnace, Vol. 5, Issue 2