Ditch diggers don't write poems -
As if there might be found
A single thought profound
Amid the mud they go in;
The pungence in essence released
From trees' roots that are severed
Is never fragrant like lilacs,
And their labor is of purpose,
That dirt removed by aching backs -
Gashed earth becomes the grave
In which our sins can be hidden;
Tomorrow ditches will be filled in,
Restoring peace which land craves,
The simple laborer's work done.
Ditch diggers don't write poetry -
Palms calloused in pick and spade,
Too rough when art 's to be made,
Remain convinced by sophistry
They've no true claim to a pen.
Clods of clay always remain
Adhered to heels of workmen's boots,
Becoming my life's defining metaphor.
So we forgo more ethereal pursuits,
Though forever treasuring sweetness
Flowed over soil of our dank holes,
Loving breaths exhaled from souls,
Floral kisses blown across distance.