Doing the Worms' Work by J. Kates

Doing the Worms' Work

The first April I am certain I will die,
the ground too cold, too wet for planting,
the river only a foot down from flood,
the compost heap a contradance of bees,
I need to be looking toward a harvest.

I will turn dirt. Without stooping
to pick rocks, I do the worms' work
for an hour or two, see how I like it,
see how I enjoy the company of worms.
Not bad, they say, not bad for a beginner.

J. Kates is a poet and literary translator who lives in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. He is the author of Mappemonde (Oyster River Press, 2001). You can listen to this poem as read by J. Kates.

This poem was published in The Florida Review and is used here with the permission of the poet, all rights reserved.

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