Excavation

Digging up a spade of rocky soil in that old ground

took exertion enough for three or four of a good, loamy one.

No self-respecting earthworm would be found dead there,

unless it was unlucky enough to be caught when the drought came.

I’d buried you there over forty years ago, wrapped you in towels to protect you,

to keep you as clean as possible even though I would be covering you with dirt.

It had been too long for me, and I’d missed you.

I’d wondered how the years had treated you, wanted to see you again.

So, old and curious now, I searched for you today, dug down deep.

It was all so rock-hard, but I wouldn’t use a pick, feared the point might hit you.

When I’d gone down more than deep enough and still hadn’t found you, I finally stopped.

Are forty some odd years enough for bones to turn to dust?

Is that time enough for them to have turned to stone?

How odd it was not finding you there as I’d hoped.

While I filled in the hole, I found I missed you even more.

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