The Soil in My Hands

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The Soil in My Hands

I hold the soil in my hands

Dampened earth, black as night

Its coarseness scours my fingertips

Like so many words of regret

I hold the soil in my hands

The darkened days of yesteryear

When a smile of a lover was all you needed

To make you feel invincible

I hold the soil in my hands

This Southern soil, stubborn and unyielding

Much like Southern women

I’ve known before and hold dear always

I hold the soil in my hands

It’s a part of me, knit in my DNA

My toes connect with the earth

My sharecropper great-granddaddy worked but never owned

I hold the soil in my hands

The bitterness and stones cold as bones

Twigs and life interrupted

The winter sky is a witness

I hold the soil in my hands

It soaks up the sunlight; a thief stealing joy

Once, part of someone’s memory

That has been long forgotten

I hold the soil in my hands

Scooping up pieces of mortality

Futility, anger, grief, love

For these are a part of the soul

I hold the soil in my hands

Letting it fall through my fingers

Like sand in an hourglass

Too quickly forgotten

I hold the soil in my hands

Finally realizing the fragility of it all

I place it back where it belongs

In my garden of yesterday

4 thoughts on “The Soil in My Hands

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