Disinterment – a poem by Roger Suffling


Antonio stoops in the tilled plot
Feeding white beans forward
From leathery palm to shrapnel-scarred fingers
Thence, with his ancient, cracked thumb
He buries them in rich black earth.

In over-sized boots and old brown dress, 
She watches, enthralled
“Abuelo, why do they go in threes?”
“Hush child”
“But why always in threes?”
“Hush child!”
“But why? Why in threes?”
“Will you ever hush child?,” he growls
Now he wipes thin hair with a muddy sleeve,
And stands slowly, hands on aching knees
Staring down at mounded earth, hung
Between tenderness and angry exasperation
“But why in threes, Abuelo?”
“Niña, will you hush now!” 

He resumes the planting ritual
“One for the Father
One for the Son
One for the Holy Ghost”
Old icons long interred,
Resurrected, unbidden.

Roger Suffling is a retired ecologist living in Ontario, Canada. His non-science articles and poetry have been published in Canadian, American and UK journals including Shot Glass Journal, Morphrog, Poetry Pause, and Environments Journal.  He was a runner-up in the 2020 Night Skies Poetry Competition. Roger is currently working on a historical novel set in early 19th century Northern Ontario.  

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