The soil churns around my feet
The muck, it pulls me down
I have my shovel firm in hand
And dig past green and brown.
I keep digging – hole or grave
or maybe tunnel of escape? –
But with no plan, I cannot see
through the earth I do reshape.
Each particle of damp dirt here,
clings tight to my damned clothes.
The further down I dig, I think
on how or where this tunnel goes.
For though it is my hand that digs
my arm that thrusts the spade,
I don’t control, nor ever have
The piercing silver blade.
To stab and slay this crying dirt
and throw away some living plants.
The weeping willow has turned over
Despite the native prayers and chants.
The weather’s wreaking havoc;
the wind has riled leaves
to fly about, and it screams and shouts
as it huffs and heaves.
The unmarked smell of freedom
is the sweetest scent around;
it’s fresh cut grass and old pine trees,
but here it’s never found.
The toil, it produces sweat
and beads drip down my grubby face.
The unearthed worms writhe all about
Where are the moths, the Queen Anne’s Lace?
One day I may learn to find the pleasure in the toil,
until then, I hold my blade and slowly dig through soil;
The grimace held firm on my face would convince you the worst
befalls me daily, so untrue; I bear no great burden, nor a curse.
This path goes down, a tunnel round, a steep and jagged trail;
one day I’ll stop this digging craze and rest in final peace.
I’ll find that thing I search for,
And from this mud: release.