We spent the day lugging dirt. My spade,
the shaft streaked with mildew, splintered
at the handle, still held strength as the earth flew
over my shoulder. The cutting edge still silver in the sun.
Each morning, they amble down. A flask of coffee,
some shortbread biscuits, and they watch from afar,
tucked in the shade of a shed, in the company of spiders
and pepper plants. They must think we’re mad,
to sweat under a beating sun, to develop the calluses
and spend the evenings aching with back pain.
We don straw hats, Crocs, pink gloves, yes, perhaps we’re mad,
but we can’t sit and wait for rain.