Bob McNamara: "Digging Morning Glory"




They arrow through layered cardboard and coarse mulch

covering the yard to kill what grew

before—sick grass, a catalog of weeds.


Dug down eight inches, the soil is blue and oily.

Twelve inches further, turning clay, twelve more

it's nearly stone. The roots still thick as clothesline


going down and down. The cyclone fence,

the armored door and window gratings shine.

Here and there, a neighbor's dogs bark madly


at a car that slows, then peels off burning rubber.

They know how things should look and keep on digging,

tending their garden, busy with their hands.



Bob McNamara's poems have appeared in two books, Second Messengers (Wesleyan) and The Body & the Day (David Robert), in the anthologies The Sorrow Psalms and The Book of Irish-American Poetry, and in a number of magazines, including Agni Review, Antioch Review, Field, Gettysburg Review, Massachusetts Review, Missouri Review, Northwest Review, Ohio Review, and Poetry Northwest. Additionally, The Cat on the Stairs, a book of poems translated from the Bengali with the author Sarat Kumar Mukhopadhyay, has recently been published by Eastern Washington University Press.