He dug himself a hole in the ground
a place to burrow dreams for
safekeeping while he tended to

Locked them
tightly in a brass tin and kept the key
hidden from sight

as dreams belong to
youth and freedom in an age before
lost chances and untraveled roads

laid the tin down and shoveled
layers of dark earth, blanketing

forgotten ambition.

Neglecting the hole in the ground
trudging in and out of the room that
represented the key kept
stowed away like buried treasure

work clasps wrists together in
irons of promises and paychecks
a black and white way for which he
did not remember asking

years accumulated in place of

until he remembered the
shovel behind the garage ‘neath
glass marked
in case of


– – –

This week’s Speakeasy prompt must refer to the photo below and begin with the phrase, “He dug himself a hole in the ground.”

Holy crap, I wrote a poem. Someone please resuscitate me.



Shovel — 25 Comments

  1. Yay! I’m so glad you posted this. It’s fantastic Natalie! I totally identify with the theme in this and love the metaphor of the tin — as well as the shovel!

    This stanza in particular is to die for:
    “as dreams belong to
    youth and freedom in an age before
    lost chances and untraveled roads”

    Awesome take on the prompts!

  2. This made me consider my own buried dreams and remember when life seemed so full of possibilities. I guess it still is, though. Maybe it’s time to declare an emergency.

  3. Pingback: Passions, Otherwise Known as Unhealthy Obsessions - The Cat Lady Sings

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