The Gravedigger's Lament
The gravedigger reigns
over a silent kingdom,
vast and ever spreading.
His subjects don’t complain.
Digging through slurry, his spade attacks.
Measured beats, calculated.
He tastes the dirt and mold,
heavy on his tongue, but pure.
He likes a job that's
Beneath the turning Angel,
the marble needle pointing toward God.
He laughs, knowing the surprise
his subjects won't feel
to find there's nothing there,
no one to take them home.
He imagines the staircase to heaven
and wonders at the sins of those below,
terrified of being judged by a ghost
in a story someone wrote.
How many armies have gone before him?
How many will go after?
All loathe to admit here
is all there is. Among the dead.
Encased in earth, prayed over, blessed
— just in case.
The stones march on, curling past
While millions more wait