Colocado en la Tierra

Editor's Note: This piece was created during a Citizen-inspired writing session at this summer's Shade exhibit at the Clyfford Still and Denver Art Museums. 

By Yvette Lonteen y Torres

the constellation of Ponderosas:
tight thickets,
a relational geometry,
broad swaths gridded deep,
metallic speckled earth.

fallen fruit, fallen birds, fallen fawns,
failing to thrive,
insects ceasing to move,
absorbed and digested.

the spade. a short hickory handle. sharp blade cutting the dirt. penetrating. the earth wet and heavy.
pitched off to the side, unshaped clay on a potter’s wheel. landing with a thud. and so the pile begins.

jumping on top of the spade. push of weight. quick to sink. a deeper bite. left hand grabs the handle low,
close to the blade. pitch the dirt to the growing pile. over and over. percussive. chugging air. sliced earth.
sweat runs down the forearms and palms.

the worn hickory becomes sticky. grasping fingers soon to prune. hair slicks to the back of the neck. sweat in
eyes. stinging. salt rings rise and stain.

a sluice box of sweat and dirt.
as i dig
as i dig
as i dig
as i dig

a rectangle the size of a casket, more or less. under the Ponderosa.