By July 1, 2015 Read More →

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Gardening with my Son
By Sam Pierstorff
Parent, Husband, MJC English Professor, Poetry Slam Star, Ninja Poet, Reverend, and Poet Laureate

Today we plant plum trees, and you are dragging my pickaxe
by its splintered handle because it weighs as much as you do.
The rusty end etches tangerine lines across the concrete
as you heave and grunt. Your cheeks become strawberries.
You have inherited my skin.

We bought you a plastic wheelbarrow,
but you prefer the immobile mass of mine—
your fingers tracing the curve of its unfamiliar tire,
your hands clenching fistfuls of mud.
As I shovel, you start to refill, one tender palmful at a time.

You lean over the hole carefully to watch things fall,
first the trickle of dirt, then the slow spiral of dry grass,
and now the hard descent of your toys—red Legos, a plastic rake.
Everything ends underground, mixing with earthworms and marbles of clay.
The hole is now big enough for your evening bath.

And if you could talk, I would tell you that planting trees
is not as difficult as my lower back believes.
Just dig wide enough for the roots to breathe.
But in life, my son, remember this: do not dig your holes
too deep or you might end up burying yourself.

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