a vigorous digging

palmful of rootbound tomato starts
(amish paste) lifted from wooden flat
which sits in a wooden cart
before snapping off the lower sets of leaves
and the gentle prying apart of plants
whose roots are woven into each other’s
followed by a vigorous digging with trowl
through freshly tilled soil and the
compacted clay underneath
making holes deep enough to drop the plants into


emory in red suspenders, white shirt,
black pants, white socks, dark shoes
practicing his michael jackson spin
on top of the picnic table in the front yard
situated under the juniper for the birthday cookout
that shall commence later today


tyler and his 12 string guitar that only has 6 strings
on the porch after lunch
cycling through a 90s hits medly
(mostly intros)
while ra ra and i laugh and say no way!
about each song
which includes but is not limited to
smashing pumpkins: today
marilyn mansons cover of sweet dreams
nirvana: heart shaped box
green day: basket case

daring jumping spider (full name)
preys on dead blue wasp
in window ledge
and carries it off


trish in gold sequinned suspenders on banjo
jenny in neon pink lycra shorts on guitar
rocking out to four non blondes’s what’s going on
between downpours of rain


laird, jazzed about the progress of the cistern
swigging fridge-cold milk from a
ceramic cup in the kitchen


bobbie’s home-made veggie brats
kim’s lentil sprouts and funions (dehydrated green onions)
plus the chips ra ra brought from st. louis and
the egg salad that appeared out of nowhere
and a huge bowl of salad from our garden
for emory’s 6th birthday potluck celebration


joseph’s homemad ice cream in three flavors:
black walnut, avocado and cake batter
sugar cones brought in from one of the next towns over
(or the town after that or the town after that)
and trish with the scooper
serving up whatever combo of the three
the next person in line desires


mica, like a color guard pro, spinning an orange-yellow flag
while trish waves the skull and crossbones
while the birthday parade kicks off
at the white house and heads for the burn pile
emory in the lead holding a mica-made torch
in his hand


normally, the thing just goes up trish says
about the rainwet burn pile
a bit before part of it has caught
and we hear a chirping from the middle of it
and a bird-rescue attempt is staged
we think it’s a meadowlark
and eventually zane comes away with it squawking in his hands


darien and bear
encouraging burn pile to burn
by relocating things in the pile where the flames aren’t catching
to the place in the pile where they are


from the water world:

Mud is splattered across a wall in the flood-damaged home of the Kovacevic family in Topcic Polje
Mud is splattered across a wall in the flood-damaged home of the Kovacevic family in Topcic Polje. More than 50 people were killed by flooding and landslides in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia. The heaviest rainfall in more than a century had caused rivers to burst their banks, sweeping away roads, bridges and homes.  REUTERS/Dado Ruvic


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