Friday, 31 May 2013


Yesterday at 2:00 pm, one hundred years to the hour since the sod-turning ceremony for the Luther Academy in Melville commenced, I reached into the back of my car--parked to face the Academy, now Melville Heritage Museum--for my shovel.

I'm Poet Laureate of Luther's 100th Anniversary festivities this fall. I'd been fired up by the idea of turning some sod of my own, maybe even a strand of the same sod the pastors and Melville dignitaries turned in 1913.

Trouble is, no sod. The Museum sits hard against a nursing home on one side, a 1954 addition on the other. Parking lot around back, lawn in front. Unless I dug up grass or blacktop, or messed with a family memorial garden, or helped myself to the ditch along highway 10, a football kick from the Museum, I'd turn no sod.
I went up and down about it a few times.

I took close looks. 
I spotted the fire escape on the west side and climbed up and sat for an hour and a half until, I reckoned, the pastors a hundred years ago were done saying a few words over their turned sod.
A while later, an Ambulance pulled out from the nursing home parking lot next to the former Academy. I wasn't on it.