Cordelia Hanemann – 1 poem 

HAULING COMPOST                             

The truck is angled in the drive;

it bears a mountain of compost

just in from the city landfill

—the detritus of winter’s disrobing

sucked up by roving Leaf-Vac maws,

churned in the jaws of vast tumblers

to fine tilth, now piled in my truck.

It is a mound as high as heaven,

as black as hell. And I know

what work it entails:

            I and my spade;

            I and my back;

            I and my wheel barrow;

            I and all those endless hours

                        of shovel and fill,

                        haul and dump,

            then on hands and knees,

                        the smoothing out,

                        playing the pudding-soil

                        through gloved fingers,

                        over placid beds.

I don’t know why each year I do it—

            so much work,

            so much sweat,

            so much dirt.

But, spring calls; I go.

            I must, I think, I must

                        —love it.


🍃

A native of Southwest Louisiana, but the daughter of an army officer and diplomat, Cordelia has lived in Japan and London as well as in the US. She earned a PhD from LSU with a dissertation on the language of contemporary poetry and developed a career as a university professor. A published poet, her work has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, most recently The Sound of Poets Cooking and up-coming,The Well-Versed Reader. Cordelia is currently the featured poet for Negative Capability Press, and The Strand Projectrecently presented a monologue she wrote for performance. An inveterate gardener and a botanical illustrator, she is currently a practicing artist and writer in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is also working on a first novel, about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.

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