In Praise of My Dirt
R. Lee Fryar
Sun-brown, sweet-potato child,
Little girl-boy, dirty hair, dirty eyes,
Digs holes in the dry earth,
Grinds soil between their hands, rough as a cat’s tongue
It rolls off like shelling peas—
Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full sir—
Purple-stained fingers pick the seams apart;
Seeds rattle free with a damp, green plunk
While heat lighting plays over the mountain
Where the dwarves build, where the goblins go,
And mushrooms make fairy houses,
Like the ones in the blackberry thicket
Where the wasp stings sharp and bitter
As a berry’s red kiss,
While smoking clouds burn with Dragon’s flame.
Plunk, plunk, plunk, the peas go in the pot,
The way the stories fall
In that same dirt
Grown smooth with sifting
Through dirty fingers.
Little boy-girl, they will bury you with dirt under your fingernails.
R. LEE FRYAR is a writer from the Arkansas River Valley. When she isn’t writing, she can generally be found up a mountain, out on a river, or in the woods somewhere. She is the author of two published works of fiction, and another pending publication in 2024. She has had other nature poetry published in Anti-Heroin Chic.