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  The Cracks Made In My Fingers

Her mud-caked, weed-stained little fingers
Shove back sticky wisps of white-blonde hair
From the cracks of her eyes and mouth

Her glassy eyes watch me, ready to giggle
As I twine, creating ladders for snap peas.
The orange live-wire twine lies in fiery loops at our feet
And our feet lie in viscous mud.

The clouds are getting so dark blue and heavy.
I speak our game:
“I spy…” She waits
“somebody Not Working!”
Her crystal eyes listen for a minute and then her chiming peal
Rings out.

She continues to stand, idle
This little five-year old princess,
Child of the Land

Her daddy works a few rows over—
Head bent, back straight, tool moving through

I’m a member of this oasis for a season.
This summer of heat and now with the cool winds coming in.
I’m entertaining this Blonde Innocent Princess
As her family and I Till the Land.

My fingers are split at the seams and rich soil has found
Permanent residence in many grooves. 
I move my rough fingers over my lips and they feel bearded and wise
Like an old man.

I lead the mint-green sweet pea leaves up the twine
And they whisper, as they bend, that they’ll reserve their
Purest encased pearls for Me.

The angel with big blue eyes and dirty pygmy hands stands watching.

Her parents’ legs stride across the churned soil rows
And she romps and eats strawberries and follows orders most of the time
As the sun bleaches her hair a blinding white
And her eyes sink a deeper blue.

The land is slowly claiming her as it penetrates her body and
Fuses the Sun to her skin.
Pretty soon, she must become a dancing ball of white light
Tinkling around me while I knot fire twine.

The soil is in her soul.
The Sunlight in her skin.
I beg the land to penetrate me like that
Seep into the Cracks made in my fingers

  Ashley Coleman
  Copyright © 2008 Ashley Coleman
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