by Molly Tenenbaum

We made a furnace of dirt
threw dirt in
when it was done dug dirt out

dirt necklace dirt needle
dirt knife dirt bone
dirt button dirt pot

dirt babies
crying dirt cries
we fed them dirt milk

wrapped them warm in dirt blankets
boiled dirt kettles
to keep their dirt diapers clean

on their dirt birthdays
gave them dirt bears
dirt bedtime read them dirt geese

when they left for dirt school
dirt grammar dirt math
dirt art dirt lunch

we wrote in our dirt journal
dirt alone at the dirt kitchen table
each day another dirt day

at their dirt weddings
dirt cake dirt fizz
and home to our own dirt bed

when we were dirt old
we locked our dirt house
and went to the forest

dug a dirt furnace
climbed in
until dirt was done

From Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest (Ooligan Press, 2013)