The Dirt

by Heather Chandler

I kneel into the dirt, letting my hand imprint— 
a visual sign of my own existence.
Texas clay fills my fingernails with its cool heaviness.
I breathe in the particles of connection offered by small organisms
I rarely take the time to acknowledge.
Too often, these hands graze the hard, steel keys of progression
And busyness, 
filling my timesheet but never my soul.
Eyes bleary and strained from flickering screens,
I come out to the garden to remember where I was fashioned,
and where I will return.
Small worms are at play.
Life is here. Not death. 
I ponder the space in between—
how I often miss the whispers of the wisteria
who tells me she can only stay
for a short visit; however,
she is not hurried, and she does not worry.
She is not burdened with silly things, like pleasing others
or aging, or how the world feels so broken today. 
Her petals dance in the wind; her eyes reach towards heaven, 
And she perfumes the air with hope.
I’ve missed the Camilla’s blooms, 
Her beauty enticing the jealousies
of ancient queens,
while my life’s hours are pulled into the machine
of productivity,
creating nothing and missing everything,
and I realize 
that I will only know this land 
when my worn-out body rests 
within her womb,
as she comforts me, when I sob into her core, “I’ve wasted it.”

photo credit: Patrice Bouchard, Unsplash