Monday, December 2, 2013


You're in the toiling moment,
grunting, swatting mosquitoes
attracted by your sweat,
separating rocks from dirt.
You're using a pick, you're
shoveling, you're measuring
for length, depth, and width.

And then you're standing in a
grave, hearing your lungs
heave for breath, wiping
your forehead with a work-shirt
sleeve. You're listening

to a bird or two in the still
cemetery. It takes effort
to get out of the dug grave.
You take a last look,
think briefly of a body
in a box, then move into

whatever's left of the flow
called day, called life,
before your consciousness
is picked from your body
and your body,
if not burnt up,
is put in a grave to mold
and to rot and to be food
for sundry creatures
in their own version of the flow.

Yes, your body,
which once dug a grave,
will go into a grave
somebody dug, probably
not by hand like you
but with machinery.

hans ostrom 2013
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