A Blessing Of Wet Earth — By Maril Crabtree

We clear the ground, snow dense and heavy

on our shovels, our humanness never more frail

as we glimpse this thin line arrowing its way

through a vast field of white, our early spring efforts


outlined row by row. To bare this patch one

shovelful at a time may be fools’ work but it’s also food

for the spirit. Sisyphus, too, claimed joy despite the risk

of angering gods. Laughing, he wouldn’t have waited


for an uncertain sun to melt late-winter blues.

The impulse to measure our progress, even in inches, seems

irresistible. Same thing with seeds, no matter

how small: we push them into wet earth and dream


of the summer sustenance they will become:

melons, cucumbers, squash, peppers, all reaching for the light

even now, even as dusk settles in and cold winds remind us

not to hope for too much this gone-awry spring.

~ Maril Crabtree

previously published in All Roads Will Lead You Home (http://vacpoetry.org/journal, Vol. 3, September 2016)

Maril Crabtree lives in the Midwest and writes poetry, creative nonfiction, reviews, and occasional short fiction. Her work has appeared in Canyon Voices, Main Street Rag, Coal City Review, and others. She is a former poetry editor for Kansas City Voices.

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of two dozen books, including, most recently, Miriam’s Well, a novel; Everyday Magic: A Field Guide to the Mundane and Miraculous, and Following the Curve, a collection of embodied poetry. . Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads writing and singing retreats. 


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