Sink your hand into the loam
the rasp and scrape of buried pebbles, bits
of brick, mortar, snail shells, nails
from a lost house of a lost century
to slide by your hand. Allow
the slugs and earthworms.
Allow the dirt.
Sink to your wrist.
The earth will grant you this, it is heavy
with last night’s rain, the earth is wet and waiting
and you are not an interloper, you
are standing on the bones of your grandparents.
Close your eyes.
Your eyes are in your fingers, in the dark
tunnels your fingers have made,
flushed and throbbing
with the red light of blood
as you slide by other times
and grasp for the remnant you need,
the hard cold thing in the sandy ground
covering your family’s dead,
the dark hard thing that’s waiting to be found:
the last bulb of the purple crocuses
that you’ll replant next fall in cooler earth.
Bio: Brooke Baker Belk has been writing since age 9, when her poem “Cat” was published in her elementary school’s magazine. She still writes about cats. Brooke is interested in English in all its forms; she studied Anglo-Saxon (Old English) in college, and thinks of poetry as a sort of excavation, one in which the bones of our modern language can show up unexpectedly and beautifully. Further thoughts on poetry live at brookebelk.com. Brooke lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband and her cats.