I tore down a fence. My shoulders feel
the tug of post; my back resents
the shovel's complaint of ground more clay
than soil. Splinters sing. By morning
my payment is this awkward gait.
Once our pockets were full of it, brimmed,
beer cans rainwater dark, rusty
buckets, pecks, bushels, rivers to be
dammed, a hole halfway to China.
We measured by dark and light. Hours, days
of the week never bothered us,
hunger our only compass. We dug
and knew the other side waited.
Mornings we rose conquistadors
quick with sharp sticks and red berries.