July 22, 2015. My partner and I have just completed a walkway that keeps reminding me of a poem I wrote back in 2011 when I was working on a similar walkway, using his favorite hoe to slice into the hard-packed ground and create a recess that could be filled with decomposed granite and limestone slabs. This poem was first published in the anthology di-verse-city 2012, © Austin Poets International, Inc.
The diamond hoe, a marvelous tool for weeding, was relatively new to us in 2011. It was his hoe, his constant companion in the yard, and I was reluctant to use it for fear I’d chip a point. He assured me it was the right tool for the job at hand (he was right) – and using it proved eye-opening in unexpected ways.
The image is a collage of the trusty hoe (unchipped through the digging of much rocky terrain) and the new walkway. Stepping on the walkway, I am mindful of his skill at placing the stones, our joint endurance at digging, hauling, and then filling without cross words. The work was hard. The walkway is a beautiful tribute to our togetherness, and it seems fitting to honor the hoe a second time around.