my shovel gently opens the soil
inviting the release of abrasions
so I might share them with the sky.
here the plastic paths of migrant farm workers
dragging children and toys and poverty.
here the leavings of industry –
conduits, metal seeds, oil drums
from the Del Monte’s who
shake the earth
to see what money will drop out.
here the woolen tracks of coyotes
scouring the neighborhoods fighting cock coops
for fast food.
here the broken fingers
of old irrigation –
remains of those who stayed and failed to succeed.
this land endures generation upon generation
of invention and desperation
preserving the cartographic faces
of American dreams
in the fine sand corpses
of ebbing crustaceans
left by the Elkhorn Slough
thousands of years ago
when it drew back its fingers
from our home.