The Moveen lads were opening a grave
in Moyarta, for Porrig O’Loinsigh,
got dead in his cow cabin in between two
Friesians, their udders bursting, his face gone blue.
“As good a way to go as any, faith,”
said Canon McMahon the parish priest.
“Sure, wasn’t our savior born in such a place?”
Unmoved by which rhetorical, the lads
kept mum but for their picks and spades which rang
out their keen begrudgeries and gratitudes.
“God spare the labor and the laborers!”
So quoth Argyle, passing in the road.
“The last among the earthen decencies—
this shovel and shoulder work by which are borne
our fellow pilgrims on their journeys home.”
Uplifted by which utterance, the lads
proffered whiskey, gobeens of local cheese,
a cut of plug tobacco. “Take your ease
with us awhile,” said one, “here among the bones
of the dead man’s elders buried years ago,
now resurrected by our excavations.”
And there among old stones his contemplations
hovered among femurs and holding up a skull,
“Alas,” he said, “O’Loinsigh, I knew him well!”
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.