Earth Tones

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My father rises before the sun
Dressed in laced-up leather boots and a raggedy t-shirt
A tiller of the earth, he is hard at work with
Hunched back and aching knees bent to his chest
Digging at bothersome weeds with bare hands,
Casting away withered stalks and stems,
Patting the weathered soil with his palm,
Making sure hibiscuses, hydrangeas, and lilies
Have gotten their turn at a shower
He pauses to search for the sun
And leans on the gnarled trunk of a hickory tree
His blistered hands and stained boots
Match the earth that covers them.





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