The small boy asked to dig a hole.
So they gave him a shovel,
Showed him a place under
The far branches of the live oak,
And let him be.
The dirt was sandy, not clay,
Grey-black and cool to the touch.
When the level ground was to his knees,
He felt he was getting somewhere.
He dug that afternoon, fast and deep.
Minutes or hours later,
He stopped digging, done.
Hot and tired but proud too,
He asked for a camera, took a picture.
Years later pasted in a book the print showed
Brown and broken leaves scattered beneath sun
Falling through the branches of the tree above,
The tall shadow of a boy stretched beyond the frame,
And the dirt that wasn’t there.