by Gordon Grice


In the woods,
in the deep hole I dug,
beneath the power cable
and the roots of box elder trees,
down among the grubs
and the smooth stones,
down where the earth is cool
in any season,
down where the shovel strikes
and falters,
down where no one sees,
too deep for the centipede
or the rotting leaf,
this is where I put him
to soften and mingle
in his dreamless sleep.

In my dreams,
down below the drivel of the day,
down beneath my business
and my worries,
beneath my friendships
and forgotten ties,
deeper even than my love
and childish fear,
this is where he speaks.
And I turn in my sleep and
repeat his words and forget them.
I hope you didn’t hear.

Originally published in This Land: Fall 2016