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John Dorroh

John Dorroh

Grandpa’s Compost Pile

The glow was there. No doubt that it
was looking at me, looking for me. I
didn’t go looking for it. It had begun
years ago in Grandpa’s play pen and
lab: dead grass and spent corn cobs
and coffee grounds and arguments. I
heard tales what should and could not
work down there: worms, like broken
spaghetti strands, offering their magic,
free of charge. No bones and fat and
putrid dairy. Corn cobs take forever.

The glow was there that night, emitting
heat, something nuclear, unclear for
me how it worked and why it possessed
such pull. His theory was that one needs
a partner to appreciate its power and that
ole miserly recluses miss it all together,
using it as pillows for their dirty sleep.
The ground accepts the power, endorses
it wholeheartedly, ferociously begging the
masses to give in to the biology of life,
its cycling and recycling and natural
supremacy for genetic stability. It can
catch you off-guard, redirect your
attention to what is real, what is dangerous,
like thieves in your house at night.

Thermophilic organisms that no one sees,
Subcontracts with the worms and
fruit flies, worshiping internal guts, the
tepid infection of putrefaction and things
that rot in the night. It is the way things
go, like it or not. It is a glowing, warm
thing that Grandpa loved and poked
weekly with his rusted, wicked pitchfork.

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