The day I helped Daddy shovel dirt
is the first I remember.
I was a big girl, two, big enough to help
in my white shirt with scalloped edges, yellow pants.
Daddy didn’t wear a shirt, just brown work shorts.
It was hot and he was red
like the wheelbarrow we loaded with dirt.
Our yard was mostly rock but we filled that wheelbarrow
full. A yardwork miracle.
My wheelbarrow. The one Daddy would push me in.
We zoomed through the grass and he pretended
to tip me over and I squealed
like a new pig.
But that day I was not in my wheelbarrow. Dirt was.
He used the big shovel. I used my five fat fingers
and helped, one handful at a time.
Mom used our carefully gathered dirt
to plant impatiens.
They never did last, but every year they bloomed.