Soil has worked itself deep into the crevices of my skin, along the outside edges of my forefingers, where I grab at knotweed and plantain, twist the roots of grass and pull them from beds.
It colors the half-moons of my fingernails and stains beneath the tips.
On my palms, three callouses rise on each hand, trailing from the base of the middle fingers in a slant to my pinkies. I didn’t notice their summer return until a chef-friend (with impeccably clean hands) pointed them out as he looked at the engraving of the arctic landscape on my wedding ring.
That was a month ago. Now they rise from soft valleys, blunt peaks born from hoe and shovel.
Enough scrubbing could clean my fingernails for one night, though the next day the soil would again find its place on my body.
And the callouses–what else is there to do but celebrate the mirror of mountains on my palms.