She walks solemnly to the back of the yard Where, in a quiet little spot under the melaleuca tree, The earth is cool and damp. She drops to her knees And starts to dig. The day is hot And sticky with sweat But her brow drips with work and determination As she brings up the earth in handfuls. She does not know why This act makes her feel better But hours later as her arms ache and legs cramp She sees the repetitive motion as a sort of penance. The earth builds up around her In mounds as high as her body. The smell of the soil is rich and dark. When the hole is suitable to lie down in, she stops. And jumps down in it. Lying flat the earth welcomes her As she looks up and sees the trees, branches and limbs Dancing in the wind. The sun melts away in the distance And darkness falls like a veil over the yard. The digger closes her eyes and rests. And makes the earth her home for many days and nights to come. Inside the house, the phone quietly rings. The dog peers out the back window And wonders when the lady will return to feed him.
A south Florida native, Christine Strong is the author of The Ride Home, and mother of two witty and wonderful children. She is currently finding a path to happiness through redefining what it is to be a single woman in the modern world!