The soil I now pick
contains fragments of the dead.
They once saddened and happied themselves here
turning to the sun and moon, quite puzzled
then taking things as they came,
for granted. This is hard brown laterite
that I turn,
to plant a few bright periwinkles
stolen from the mound of one long obscure,
dead. They should grow well
here. So I turn out
the millipedes curling up
ashamed of the sudden expose
into dark ring stones of sapphire and topaz.
Pinned to sudden light they have all coiled up
in abject surrender. These things we bury back
with pushed up soil, crushing strange roots
going everywhere like soft nerve fibers,
sending messages of thirst to strange
destinations. Each scoop of mud
brings more life to light
lost like death underground
doing odd jobs, ordained like saints, salient
in dark recess drawing salary in kind.
Mud-work is a kind of work ship.
A silent thanksgiving for a home, called earth.