While Digging Out the Garden by Sarah Dunster

You, but not you.

The earth braces itself against
my first spade full €”ground softened by
my salt €”unearthing roots   like fingers
spread to sky, claiming a blessing
or, at least, an answer.

You are earth. You. But not
you €”we never buried you, and
I never saw your face in death.

I’m alive, yet not alive.

I walk through shadowed valleys and
I find the Tree €”not fruited, but felled;
a blackened trunk, with spring sprung up
in a hundred nubile branches €”

Me. And you.

The garden must be dug. My young
plants wait on the sill, stretching leggy
stems to reach the light. I turn the
earth. What lies beneath? My spade-tip
scrapes the iron mantle, while I
hang on the wooden handle.

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To read Sarah’s bio and other Spring Poetry Runoff entries, go here and here.

*Competition entry*