Going Into the Earth We watch with careful bloodshot eye the approach of the dead Whether in somber

casket toward the hole in the ground, Or on the stern alabaster hospital bed. Making our warding signs, we clutch our elusive heart Aware that no matter the preparation, the dead will approach And no stay is gained by any black art Save that of the black earth and it’s service as railway coach. I saw one day, on the holy grounds of those at rest, A short-shirted man who has a steel “T” tool Who tests the earth about to cradle What once received our love, our Interactions, our missives and misgivings. With the tool he pushes deep into the earth Checking the dirt bed for emptiness To make sure that when we are laid to rest We can retain our aversion to rubbing shoulders with strangers. “This spot is open here,” he announces, leaning on the bar. Death always has a spot for us. And up here, where the living trod, I see That though the stone with name and date Lasts for decades of granite resolution declared “In love”, “In communion with”, “In loving marriage forever” and “In service of freedom” My own small steps leave but the faintest trail, A bent blade of crabgrass that will restore itself or A faint imprint on the dirt, That the wind will blow over In a day or two’s worth of easy work. In the autumn wind that promises the approach of things That will go into the earth for safety, For warmth, to hibernate waiting for another green spring, The autumn wind brings the dull cold from a distant mountain Along with the eternal stance of that granite edifice Blistering against the sun, moon, and time itself, And also rooted in the earth. The man with the “T”-tool has found the right spot. He, at least, has no dread here, standing in the wind going into the earth. The Jotter 10-12-2010

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