Our dirt smelled different, I say.
Rust and library paste,
Ground up talons and the blood of mice.
Sure, it had the same grind, same weight, same color as most
That distinct smell.
“Chuh,” goes my shovel,
And that sound takes me back
To the time you tore your yellow Sunday dress on the bridge,
Over the creek, behind our house,
And I tried mending the hole – remember? –
With moss and broken leaves,
Spit and mimulus.
We were told in school that the Miwok used Sticky Monkey Flower
To close their wounds,
So I thought why not your hem.
I went to work repairing,
Working the petal-poultice
Into the fabric,
Turning my hands into
Tender vice grips.
I looked up to catch your stare,
Your concentrated, muted fury,
See your hand strike at the fresh flower-scab,
Turning the mend back into a rip,
Creating new margins, more freedom.
Amanda Wilkins writes marketing copy during work hours and poetry on the weekends. She lives in California with her husband, son, two dogs and three cats in the home she was raised in, which is nestled in the foothills of Mt. Tamalpais.