A poem from Laurie Siegel, first place winner,
The College Alumni Society Poetry Prizes, 2000


Construction

Everyone has been digging holes
this fall
and it doesn't look like
they're going to stop.
They started in the city--
which had been expected
for a while--
and now there are hole diggers
out in Scarsdale,
and they're not just the commuters.

They're using hard iron spades
and dinner forks
and fingernails and feet.

They sing
"the more that's missing
the more they're worth"
when they're digging
at one a.m.

But that's all they'll ever say
about their holes,
though they bear their bruises
around town with pride.
And when the diggers' children
call out
"There's more empty
than earth"
from the back porches,
the hole diggers smile
and lean all of their weight
onto their tools,
shifting deeper into the ground.