Clay: A Memory & a Dream

by

 

When I arrive is always years from now
at the edge of my father’s marsh
and the hole is half filled with water
and choked with grass
where at five
I watched him dig lilies for our yard 

I step barefoot into fetid water
worm the ooze around my feet
scoop black decay with my toes
working through sediment
to yellow clay 

Returning night after night
kneading my feet in that clay

 

First published in Tellus.

 

51 Plymouth in Marsh - photo by Mike Smetzer

Dad cut the top and the back off his 51 Plymouth and took the seats out so we could haul Christmas trees up to the yard for sale. Worked well until Dad took a shortcut and got stuck at the deep end of the marsh. That night it rained. Still there.

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