Today's poem is by Elizabeth Rees


The prospector hollered Go! and we raised our shovels
as if we were one set of hands, the forward oomph
of our greed as good a fuel as any. It didn't matter
that no one had found any ore in these parts for ages,
we set about our work as if these repeating arms and legs
could reverse history. The sun dripped its reedy juice
over our heads, coating us with another shade of saffron.
Though the sound of shovels clawing into unforgiving soil
didn't offer any reassurance, we had long stopped listening
for ordinary human sounds, understood to mean, Yes. Here.
Our shadows grew longer than our bodies, as if
the upward arc of the shovels were lifting us skyward.
If there were any people that could remind us of ourselves,
we would not have recognized them, all the planets inching
closer to this dug-out valley. And still we kept digging.
Soon the birds were replaced by bats, the trees collapsed
inside their skins to bear up for another sleepless night.

Copyright © 2009 Elizabeth Rees All rights reserved
from Now That We're Here
Spire Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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