Double Dig
Harold Jenkins

Break the surface with the pitchfork
shave off the sod with the spade
Five feet wide, fifteen feet long

Dig out the first row
one foot down, one foot long
put it in the wheelbarrow

Add compost to the trench
loosen the soil with the fork
try not to think about you

Dig out the second row
toss it into the first trench
incorporate air into the bed
increase porosity, improve drainage
think about the work

and not about all those years
all those “I love you”s
work the soil
the roots will dig even deeper
the weeds will pull out easier
focus on the work

not on all those hours, all those nights
the long drives, the moving van
study sessions and open mics
the sun is hot, halfway done
keep the rows even or the last one will be too big

Keep digging. Keep moving.
There will be rest after the work is done
after the soil from the wheelbarrow is tipped into the last trench
after the excess air is squeezed out with the digging board

I remember every word of every story
every line of every poem
Tomorrow the seedlings will go in
the seeds will be planted
but now, dig the soil
double dig, two layers down

Dig the garden, and forget about you
there will be time for remembering later


Harold Jenkins majored in physics and philosophy at the University of Scranton, where one professor struck through every line of his submission and then admitted she had no idea what a mayfly was anyway. He spent twenty years in industry before taking up writing again. In 2011 he joined the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers’ Collective at the Vintage Theater. With their encouragement he refined his skills as a short story writer and began writing poetry again, presenting his work at open mics throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. Many of his poems and short stories can be found on his blog, Another Monkey (anothermonkey.blogspot.com).

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