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.