The Grave Digger...A Poem



I might have been a digger of graves,

a man of simple acts and tastes,

who spends his life in holes,

digging earth to give his brethren rest.


A hard-working man undisturbed by his employ,

not a man of deepest thought. Not shallow

(an uneasy concept for diggers of graves),

but no philosopher either, constructing

system with each dank shovel filled with dirt.


In spring, the dense and chocolate earth

is thick and wet for perfect growth

of flowering plants, but muck to lift

for ever-straining arms and back.


In winter, soil is hard as rock

to chop and dig, like marble cut

for famous Michelangelo

(imagine such life and form in stone!).

Face and hands and ears are cold.

We earn our money then, I'll say.


In summer, the ground is best to work,

which comes as no surprise; the famous time

of farmers bonding with the soil.

Crops mature, hay is cut; it is warm, of course.

We suffer when it's hot.


But those dropped in our holes don't suffer

anymore.  Heat and cold are all the same to them;

mean nothing.  Nor the birds and high, clear sky.

We don't complain.  We're a simple, hardy lot

who welcome rain when it may come.


Autumn is lovely, the orange, red trees.

Nature dies such a beautiful death.

The soil is yet unfrozen, crops are done,

the digging good, the year goes on.

Our lives continue, filled with basic things;

a loving wife, if we can find her,

food, a bit of drink to wash it down.


One day, a mate of mine will dig my hole

-- or I dig his – or some new lad we've taken on,

at some season, time, as yet unknown.


Copyright by Don Gray



Don Gray Art  •  Poems