Mud Child (a Haibun)

My first true love was earth, dry earth and water mixed, piling dirt in mounds, trying to shape the mud. Digging, digging, digging, squatted on the earth, pouring water in to make a captured pool. I watched it soak away.

Broken finger nails
Scrabbling at resistant earth,
Burrowing with worms.

Alone I worked day after day, shaded by the Yews, until the puppy came, near as old as I, and just as keen to dig. We worked on side by side, driven by curiosity, searching for the truth or an ancient bone. The earth flew out behind us as we dug the hole.

When would water rise?
Could we find the fearsome fire?
Could we reach the source?

Stopped by tangled roots.
Water ran between my palms,
Mud sucked at my feet.

We ran off to play,
Covered head to toe in earth.
We’d dig another day.


3 thoughts on “Mud Child (a Haibun)

  1. I came across a group of children (with a couple of adults) in the woods when I was walking my dogs the other day. They were all playing in a brook, making mud dams and then unmaking those same dams. They were covered in mud from their faces to their hands and I really wanted to get in and join them! How rare it is to see children play (or be allowed to play) like this. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

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