"Runner-up of the Open Community Poetry Contest for the period January 1-March 31, 2012."

There’s an urgency to the toil now.

Deep the tines pierce plunged and tramped beneath boots thick caked.

Backwards the staff pushes and falls lifted and levering matted quitch grass twitch and taprooted taxaxacum rhizomes twisted wrapping steel in knots

to pull and break off sudden in gasps of broken ground.


Here rises ancient metal twisted in rust, sharp sheen of glass, snake’s shed lace, the yellowed vertebrae of calf stillborn to rot, an archeology of rebirth and waste.

Tools throttle sod to air, heaved high and raining clods first heavy hard then crushing, ripped and ground to soil.

How long will these arms bare the burden of spring, digging down to rise once more in summer’s passing?

How many more seasons will this land work my soul?