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Holly Day

The Dig


Despite our best efforts, our excavations

reveal nothing, only shovelfuls

of loose metal nuts, bits of plastic

an old doll with blond, dirt-crusted hair

lost some months before.

My daughter squeaks and runs back into the house

to wash it clean in the kitchen sink.


Hours of wresting free rock and crumbling concrete

and we find nothing but tiny orange worms

half-frozen slugs and garden fill

waiting for us at the site, a mysterious, rusty key pressed into the mud

that fits neatly into our own garage door


stark reminder that this isn’t really a treasure hunt

we are just out here getting the garden ready for spring.

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