the wind rustles the pages of my father’s diary
and searches his blank blue fields-
it is the old routine.

“you never  throw anything out”
she says “you didn’t clear out
the basement. if it floods-" she says. we could use the rain. 

the porch creaks under the weight.
beneath the earth churns endlessly
digesting remainders, gestating tomorrow’s buds.

in last night’s dream rare night of sleep a doctor said to me
memory is in the handshe spared excising them in the surgery because memory is in the hands.

I sit here trying to decode
his chicken scratch till
there is no enough longer light to read by 

the letters separating into abstraction
the dark slowly uncovering
the insatiable soil indefatigable weeds  

until the skinny rooster climbs
to his perch atop this man’s barn
and squawks out his wordless call

which I can only take to mean
wake up
and do the work again

©2023 Niall Cunningham