Melisa Malvin-Middleton


And it was good
enough to dig.
I test the soil
under metal’s scrape,
checking the softness, feeling earth
grind under my nails.
One inch. Two.
How far
must I go to release you?

Each week of creation
bound you to me:
five was a joy,
six a relief,
but on the seventh, I did not recline.
There once was your heartbeat there.

And with my eyes aslant
I let you slide out of the jar
into your hole at the base of a pine;
into the depths
of this opening
I have dug
(that keeps you secure)
in the family plot,

unlike a drain
that leads to the sea.

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