Jacques crouches in his father’s garden, coaxing leeks from the hard November ground. Six rows of cabbages away, the old man is digging up bouquets of mâche with a grit-encrusted knife. Jacques grabs a shoot of leaves and pulls out a stem, slick with saliva-like bubbles. The leek slaps into the basket and his father looks over, his glasses steamed by plant breath into two opaque circles.
“Getting them all? And the roots?”
“Fine, Father,” Jacques says, “I’m doing just fine.”He waits for the slice of the knife to resume, and then clutches another cold jumble of leaves. The earth buckles and splits, belching a sweet, rotten smell. With the leek in one hand, he uses the other to pull up the socks that have bunched around his ankles, exposing his heels to the bite of the air. A hollow eye stares up at him from the plank where his loafers balance, precious and inappropriate against the warped wood. “For your city shoes,” his father said when he handed him the plank at the gate. Jacques wonders again what is really being protected— his shoes from the soil or the soil from his shoes.
And remember that the open reading period for Redux ends on November 19. See the submission guidelines at http://www.reduxlitjournal.blogspot.com/