I turn the soil, keeping in the little stones
Roots love to curl their fingers round
And throwing away big ones. Here is one--no,
It crumbles into soil--and others--but, again, no,
They are plastic pouches long forgotten,
Containing dead, pet birds I'd buried over the years.
How I wish they could have clung to little stones
Like plants do, and kept on living.
Drops of sweat run down my face, into the soil
And, briefly, now, I wonder whether they are tears.
My plants will keep the soil,
The soil will keep my memories
Of pet birds that said goodbye.