He wore Wranglers tucked into black rubber boots,
a ball cap, although he probably never played ball.
He and his shovel worked the edge of thawing field,
carving exit routes for water needing to be evacuated.
My Grandpa wore rubber boots and a straw hat
when he shouldered his shovel as if it belonged there,
sauntered to his orchards or Granny’s big garden
early each morning and later each evening.
There, he systematically built dams, cleared trenches,
blocked ditches, directed water, controlled its journey
so fruit trees and vegetables could flourish
and never thirst in the heat of a Colorado summer.
I used to wonder if Grandpa ever grew weary of
his irrigation routine, found ditches a drudgery.
Because I thought that I would love this earth-bound work
so methodical, so peaceful, so life-giving.