My Trench

You scrape back my topsoil;
I can see it in the spoil heap
Left where it won’t get in the way.
I thought it was filled with treasures
That some detector would uncover.
But I can see only
The dried husks of old dreams.

Turn to the naked earth
Brought into the open where you
Can seek the clues to my being.
From here it is desert,
Featureless, lost to time;
But you who stand above
May find old skeletons.

Or, more likely, patches
Of dark organic dust;
Dung heaps are best of all –
Shades visible only
To buzzards on dry days.
Robbed out ditches revealed
By slight shifts of colour.

Function and ritual
May be dug from this earth.
But songs I take with me,
The gentle flow of words
Leaves no groove in my soil;
The soft caress of love
Vanishes in the wind.


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