Smooth Dirt

When I was four I carried two metallic sifters into the garden each morning, set up school between the pumpkins and cabbage, a red plastic trowel still stuck in the ground from the day before. I’d dig and scoop soft clods into the first sifter, squeeze the handle and watch the silt flow into the tight screen of the second sifter. I’d turn the trowel upside down, use the handle to squeeze dirt through the second screen into little pyramids on the ground. With my bare hands I would slide my fingers through the mounds, lift and spread my smooth dirt, make pies and cakes and airports and tunnels until my hands were black, my fingernails full. It was much later in real school that my education solidified. I came to value the importance of clean nails. Using two sifters was redundant. Smooth dirt was a concept no one understood, so I stopped making it.

Jory Post lives in Santa Cruz, CA where he and his wife make handmade books and broadsides as JoKa Press. His work has been published in Chicago Quarterly Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Porter Gulch Review, and in the May issue of Catamaran Literary Reader. Post is the editor and founder of phren-Z online literary magazine, dedicated to showcasing the work of Santa Cruz County writers since 2011.

See more of his work in 7.2