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A Piece of Land


There’s very little I request,
Perhaps a garden patch at best.
Just six feet long, by four feet wide ~
Fertile furrows, tilled side by side.

One for carrots and one for greens.
One for beet roots and one for beans.
Tomato plants, drooping with red,
Grown at each corner of the bed.

Then placed at one end of the plot,
Adding majesty to the spot,
Providing me sweet company ~
A hive set for the honey-bee.

For all the rest of all my days,
I would forsake my wayward ways.
With nowhere else I’d need to go,
Sing while I weed ~ hum as I hoe.

In summer months you’d find me there,
Sun in my beard, dust in my hair,
Whispering bean stalk, drones to drone.
In solitude ~ never alone.

I’d venture there in winters too,
When days are short and crisp and blue.
Stand risking frozen nose or toe,
Deeply in love, knee high in snow.

As time turns each calendar page,
My veggie plants and I would age.
Our colours fade, our skins to crease,
Our rhythms slow, our songs would cease.

Then when I’d fall and lay so still,
Upon the earth I lived to till,
Unclench the shovel from my hand,
And dig my grave within that land.

Lay me down low and plant me deep,
‘Neath sheets of dirt. My last long sleep.
Let mint and meadow flowers spread,
Thick on the ground above my head.

Bid fond farewell on my behalf,
To my dear Queen, her brood and staff.
Leave their apartment there to stand,
Marking my little spot of land.

There’s very little I request,
A sliver of the earth at best.
Just six feet long and three in breadth ~
To sow in life and join in death.

– Dawud Wharnsby
Abbottabad, Pakistan
August 2013

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