Today's poem is by Brendan Galvin


My shovel rang against this pile
in January, this midden and menu
of a lost year. No promises there.
It was a rock of snow, weather's
depository, not dirt at all, but came

true again in the March rains,
a supermuck raccoons visited
with articulate digits, and skunks
nosed as though some tramp was
poking around with his walking stick.

The ocean warming above fifty now,
the last frost a week ago
melted off the shed roof, I open this
kitchen history to feed
forthcoming shoots and sprawls,

drive my shovel into the wormworks
we lubricated with each morning's
coffee grounds, out-takes from our table,
shuckings, stones and pits, a furred
mango seed the size of a wallet, all of it

seasoned with buckets of stove ash, the dust
of a winter's oak and maple, kibble
gone green, squash rot and apple ferment—
remembering even the planet's
a collection of cosmic leftovers.

Soon this mound will attract
a platoon of crows to arrange sentries
and scouts in the pines
before the fly-in, their wing music
one more pleasure of the morning.

Already mussel shells empurpled
by the weather have donated calcium,
and this crustacean armor has softened
and given its reds to the heat
that breaks everything down.

Copyright © 2008 Brendan Galvin All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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