My father asks me why I’m so dirty.
I say it’s because I played in the field with Becky.
I won’t tell him I worked from two until suppertime
helping pick potatoes with the Hammons in their field.
I won’t tell him how warm and rich the earth was
when Mr. Hammons plowed through, leaving dry ripples
for us to dig our hands in to fish for potatoes.
Or how we picked up six-inch worms and threw them at each other,
while tossing potatoes into ratty bushel baskets.
I like going home with limp hair,
stringy from the summer wind,
and a film of dust on my arms and legs.
When my mom asks me to wash the dishes,
I’ll say I’m too tired.
© 1992 Ann Kroeker