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A Lot

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A little loam and topsoil
is a lot.

—Heather McHugh

A vacant lot, maybe, but even such lit vacancy
as interstate motels announce can look, well, pretty
damned inviting after a long day’s drive, especially
if the day has been oppressed by manic truckers, detours,
endless road construction. And this poorly measured, semi-
rectangle, projected and plotted with the familiar
little flags upon a spread of neglected terra firma
also offers brief apprehension, which—let’s face it,
whether pleasing or encumbered by anxiety—dwells
luxuriously in potential. Me? Well, I like
a little space between shopping malls, and while this one may
never come to be much of a garden, once we rip
the old tires from the brambles and bag the trash, we might
just glimpse the lot we meant, the lot we hoped to find.

Scott Cairns, “A Lot” from Philokalia: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2002 by Scott Cairns. Reprinted with the permission of Zoo Press.
Source: Philokalia: New and Selected Poems (Zoo Press, 2002)
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A Lot

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