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Side by side, we dig in the withered flowerbed,
the sudden warmth, and once again you say, See
how much the light has shifted. I nod my head
at another changing season, our aching knees.
We pull out brittle roots, new stones that surface
every year, tokens of the old sheep field we raked
and raked, seeded, treed. Sad, and yet not, the pace
of branches needing trimming, worms we shake
from our trowels, their hungry bodies startled, blind.
Something startles us as well. We set down tools
and gloves, gather lilacs, open all the windows wide.
The croon of wood frogs, bird-cry fills our room,
our vining. A breeze across sheets and skin
carries us back outside or floats the outside in.
Copyright 2022 Christine Rhein. Originally published in The MacGuffin. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.
Christine Rhein, formerly a mechanical engineer in the automotive industry, lives in Brighton, Michigan. Her book Wild Flight can be ordered from Texas Tech University Press.