Some dirt should stay. Not every tool should be
wiped clean; not every day can be resolved
like math or music in a major key,
but that’s okay. Today the mulch I hauled
had snagged its bits and twigs by quitting time
to flinty drips of concrete Daddy mixed
before my time. His wheelbarrow is mine;
his legs like iron, his heart beats hit or miss,
his way of plowing through his days as if
each hour caught fire behind him. In my days,
I find him lugging lime and sand to mix
With rhythmic shovel chops, a steady spray
Of mortar melding to the handles where
Our hands can hold again on what’s left there.
Dana Wildsmith’s newest collection of poems is One Light from Texas Review Press, She is also the author of a novel, Jumping, an environmental memoir, Back to Abnormal: Surviving with an Old Farm in the New South, which was Finalist for Georgia Author of the Year, and five collections of poetry. Wildsmith has served as Artist-in-Residence for Grand Canyon National Park and Everglades National Park, as Writer-in-Residence for the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, and she is a Fellow of the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences.