Wednesday, May 1, 2013

J.K. Durick

Digging Holes

Perhaps we begin too early, pail and shovel,
Playing, scooping, piling, an end in themselves,
A child’s worth of meaning, but later we grow
Into the task more, fill backyards and lawns,
Create nuisances for ourselves and others, stub
Toes, turn ankles, our ability to do outstripped
By the things we imagine, deep canals and lakes,
Getting to the center of the earth, all the way
To China, with shovels, sometimes picks, we
Labor away, dream of lives filled with them,
Perhaps on road crews, digging graves or gardens,
Foxholes and pipelines, subways, tunnels under
This or that, the possibilities are endless for us,
The young can stand on a mountain and start to
Dig, imagining hills, then holes, bringing things
Level, the lower the better, our will to dig down
Deep is far greater than Rockies, than Alps, until
One day we stop digging, lean on our shovels to
Look around, the bottom of our latest hole looks
Like the last one and the one before, and we see
How empty it all is, the hole we have dug ourselves,
And we don’t know how we got there, and how
We can ever in the end get ourselves out.

J. K. Durick is presently a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Four and Twenty, and Literary Juice.

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