Op-ed

Prepare


September 5, 2016

You kneel in moss, adjust
the white bee box, secure
it in the lush ground. There will be honey.
You will be a wonderful father.

It is too dark to see the spaces
between stones, yet you pile
more on the wall, mend history.

You chop wood, the crack of axe
on stump, the hollow ache
of someone leaving.

Peeling layers off the walls  
of this two hundred year-old structure,
we find patterns of wood and paper and nail
that could make one cry. We hammer

into what will one day be called
that old couple’s house.  
Now you memorize the cry

of the loon. You will be a wonderful father.
Neatly, between trees, the woodpile  
grows. Another bed of earth is ready
for your fingers. Your knuckles

are ready for the soil. When you chop onions
later in the kitchen, you are still thinking
about the bees, about the field mouse
you saw run away from us in terror. You think

about entrusting our garden to the night.
While we prepare that path, remove
thorns, save moss, I know
you will be a wonderful father.

-Sarah Anderson