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.