The Gravediggers Gift

Standing in the rain
holding the shovel
as a sentence holds it’s period,
an end mark to something significant.
He never met tonight’s customer
but has heard good things of him.
A pillar of the community,
active in his church, a father, a husband,
a hero.

But even the most beautiful sentences come to a definitive end,
punctuated by an exclamation point, a period, or question mark.

Shoes caked in mud and sweat on his brow,
he pulls his hat over his tired eyes
shielding his face from the rain.
The dirt has turned to mud, adding weight to
the shovel.  Hip deep in the grave, the shovel
digs into the ground, ever deeper,
making room for the future occupant.

He takes grim pride in his job,
making sure the corners are square
and the dimensions are absolute:
thirty inches by eight feet by six feet.
There is no measuring tool on his person;
experience is the tape and gift to his client.

Ever deeper he digs;
a period to a soft sentence
whispered through the night,
moving leaves and blades of grass
in it’s gentle wake.

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