Working with Sam
With long-handled shovels,
Two of us disturb the hot earth.
The dull scrape of metal biting dirt
Sets the tempo of conversation.
I fling away a tangle of crabgrass
And wonder aloud what is duty, or love,
Or how to talk to my friends' mothers.
Meanwhile your shovel is eating away
At the pile we're clearing
And you tell me stories
As our shadows shorten and skin
Yields to sunburn.
Small thought goes into our work
And we lessen the mound,
Tossing its crumbling soil back
Between the garden rows.
We do not think long and hard
On our exchanging words,
But the words being flung are
Like the dirt piling up beside us:
Filling the chasms and low places
That inevitably gape between