trench man #3: to the end or until

the tools grow heavy
his arms so weak
the loose dirt wobbles
like a jelly
on the spoon

he thinks
he ought to widen this trench
to take his shoulders
and his head
let it taper down
to his feet

before this is dug
he might be wanting both
a coffin
and a grave

he can see the finish now
nearer
but there’s so much
still to do
while the clay
clings
like a cloying lover
too long on the spade

but there’s nothing he can do
just swing down
again
clear the debris
and inch by inch
to the end
or until
his punishment stops


© Frank Prem, 2017

June 2017 Poem #10: trench man #4: home before texture

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