Grave Digger

“Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.”  Horace (65 BC- 8 BC)

 

He toils for the dead.

He wears his hat

hung low on his brow

To protect him from

the sun’s harsh light,

and to obscure his vision

from the task ahead.

~~~~~~~~

He labors for the dead.

He carries a shovel

over his shoulder.

Its weight presses down,

digs in.

It reminds him that

he’s still alive,

And there’s important work

to be done.

~~~~~~~~

He toils for the dead.

He seeks out a soft patch of earth,

and then he breaks ground.

He sweats as he digs

and the breaths he takes are shallow.

But he does take breath,

he does breathe.

~~~~~~~~

He works for the dead.

But they pay him no fee.

He doesn’t need a schedule,

He knows when to come in.

His employers do not speak,

But they trust in him,

as only they can.

He is their faithful servant.

~~~~~~~~

He toils for the dead.

He prepares their final

resting place.

Then he sends them home.

It’s a payment that he makes,

it’s the tithe that he pays.

So that one day,

Maybe,

Perhaps,

Someone will toil for him.

Copyright 2012 © Elizabeth Michaud John.  All rights reserved.

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