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David Dixon

It’s the last day of February.

Gentle rain most of the night.

A green noise awakening grass

and early buds of the crabapples.

I’m rested, in a pleasant mood,

generous even, and pick up trash

by the road as we begin our walk.

It’s a paper coffee cup. Wendy’s,

famous redhead faded on one side.


Heaven is often considered place.

Another place—other. Not here.

We should be stewards of this good earth

I say proudly to Charlie who is sniffing

at an earthworm stranded on the wet road.

There must be a dozen—squiggly guys

and I think of Mary Oliver, her black

snake, how she lifted it off the road, carried

it safely to the side. Gracefully. Heaven.

Each of us doing the small things. I pick up

each worm, place it carefully inside the cup.


We cross the old stone bridge over Simmons’s

Creek and pause to watch the shadow shapes

rolling and shifting beneath the risen current.

Striped bass and bluegills.


This too is heaven, I think again—


Grilled fish on a platter.

Plump worm on my hook.



David Dixon is a physician, poet, and musician who lives and practices in the foothills of North Carolina. His work has appeared in Rock & Sling, The Northern Virginia Review, Connecticut River Review, FlyingSouth, The Greensboro Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of "The Scattering of Saints" (Hermit Feathers Press, 2022). Each of these poems sprang from a challenge to write a poem a day for one month based on a prompts shared with a great friend and fellow NC writer/poet Steve Cushman. Two of the poems are part of a small collection written during Holy Week.

Photo Credit: Emilee Luke, "Sunset Second Lake"

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