digging down deep
to find a word, that word, the one i want, the one that constantly eludes me.
the hole is several feet deep now, several more feet than that wide, and in the pile on the brink of this hole there is nothing but dirt.
i thought i found an e once for a second, but it turned out to be a penny.
and then there was a t, at least in my mind for one split second, but when i touched it, there was only a twig.
i keep hitting these rocks and they jar me, all the way up to my neck, my shoulders, my mind.
jar me into thinking this is all a mistake, this digging, it’s too much work, it hurts too much.
i don’t stop though, don’t give up, i almost never give up, i’m very stubborn. i want that word.
i dig with this small wooden shovel left by a grandfather i barely knew.
when i get tired, i use this spoon that i found by the side of the road.
my soil is not sandy, no, i am not so lucky, my soil is all clay, wet and heavy and filled with worm holes, coming up in big chunks that stick and smear, and never break apart.
and these rocks, there are so many, some bigger than my head, each one takes a day to excavate. and when that day is done, all i have left to show for it is a cold, hard rock.
but i have collected rocks since i was a child.
there is always that moment when i feel it give, that rock, and i know that one more tug and i will lift it, and that is when i pause, because who knows what might be slithering underneath.
but i hold my breath and i lift one edge, ever so gently, ready to drop it back down at the first sign of trouble, ready to fling it aside if i find that word.
but alas, not this time. no creepy, crawly, scary creatures, and no word, either.
just one more layer of cold smooth earth
begging to be cracked open.