A man turns dirt by hand, makes a brown bed
from lanky grass he should have mowed a week ago,
unearths a dormant seed of memory
not his own: summer morning a century past,
dew on the same patch of earth he is working,
a child digging, dress-hem damp with mud.
Hands picking roses and lavender to set
by the half-empty bed, a son at his desk
penning the first draft of a eulogy,
a man thinking about his coming crop
of squash the woman in the bed will never eat.
The undertaker repainting his black cart.
What We Have Built