December 2013/January 2014 - Vol. 71.

Clearing ground 
by Joseph Matthias

Itís well past noon on Cemetery Hill.
By dint of sweat, I think Iíve earned my bread;
but there the older brother labors still,
where some rash root invades the vacant bed
of brothers yet to rest. He digs about
the living limbs to make room for the dead,
and while he strains at one, I give a shout
to ask the old man when weíll take a break.

He doesnít hear. I watch him pry the stout
stump of a cedar up. I guess heíll make
by reason of his strength fourscore at least,
before heíll pause to stretch his thin arms out,
and lay aside the axe, the spade, the rake,
to nap awhile, toes pointed toward the East.

© 2013 Joseph Matthias

Joseph Matthias is a member of The Servants of the Word and Word of Life Community 
in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA. 
(c) copyright 2013  The Sword of the Spirit
publishing address: Park Royal Business Centre, 9-17 Park Royal Road, Suite 108, London NW10 7LQ, United Kingdom