Photo by Irina Iriser on

I’m in love with digging

The slice of the shovel blade

The crunch and rattle going down

I love how muscles lift and toss

Yellow-brown dirt, thick with clay

How the pile grows

Beside the hole

How the crisp wind swings branches

How white petals swirl

Land on my hat.

It’s deep enough, he says.

No, I say, and press the shovel hard

Wider and deeper

Fill the hole with rich dark soil chunks

From yellow bags

Break them soft and smooth

Set the lilac bush into the future.

Inhale, and plant hope.

The Karakesh Chronicles are available at Amazon and from

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