In Common by Jed Myers

In Common 

I woke wanting to dig, not for anything
underground, no need for a spade,

and not with some rude analytical
blade to cut through a bad attitude,

no pickaxing a tomb for artifacts
tucked in the dust of a lost adolescence,

no, this morning, hearing the crows
bickering over where to get breakfast

while they took turns disturbing a puddle
the rain left last night, while I watched

at an open window, a robin waiting
at a safe distance to wash its wings

once the crows finished and flapped off,
and in that quiet the wind’s come-and-go

musings in the tall throat of the maple,
I wanted to dig shallow, for what we hold

in common, just under a feather
coat as under my skin, in the cackle

and mutter and chirp, inside the jackets
you and I wear out the door some hope

some fear in our throats, in our pockets
a little cash scared up for a coffee

and snack at the stand. We might risk
a nod without seeing the other’s life.



Jed Myers is author of Watching the Perseids (Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award), The Marriage of Space and Time (MoonPath Press), and four chapbooks, including Dark’s Channels (Iron Horse Literary Review Chapbook Award) and Love’s Test (winner, Grayson Books Chapbook Contest). Among recent recognitions, his poems have won The Briar Cliff Review’s Annual Poetry Contest, the Prime Number Magazine Award, The Southeast Review’s Gearhart Prize, and The Tishman Review’s Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize. Recent work appears in Rattle, Poetry Northwest, The American Journal of PoetryTinderbox Poetry JournalSouthern Poetry ReviewOn the SeawallRuminate, and elsewhere. Myers lives in Seattle and edits poetry for Bracken.

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