The gravedigger’s son

I’m a gravedigger’s son,
the shovel and spade, nick
-snick-flick, earth as raw as putrid flesh,
movements and sequences, nick-
snick-flick, instinct, impulse, rationale, reason,
combining, conglomerating with each nick-
snick-flick, making my father weary,
and the eulogies for sons lost in
accidents, daughters dying of cancer,
got to him, and the fire and brimstone
spewed, unnerved, unsettled him, and
so, he drank and drank, and came home,
never abusive, but neglecting everything
and everyone, his surroundings a chorus
of the dullest beige, his song softer than
the mildest blue, his eyes red, his cheeks
crimson, giving no one, even a semblance of
green, and when he died, I took the spade
and shovel, not out of want but need, nick-
snick-flick, a slow monochromatic cadence
settling in, standing in a corner, averting glances,
and then fine-tuned to them, the buzz and flow
of the traffic, the cacophony of horns
making no difference, nick-
snick-flick, coming home
to an aging mother, and a wife without
the alcohol and yet failing…falling short, nick-
snick-flick, each picture slowly turning
sepia and then a blurred black and white,
while everyone I knew or cared about,
or loved still breathes,
but is sadly dead to me.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Protected by Copyscape

16 thoughts on “The gravedigger’s son

  1. This is a tremendous piece of Art Nitin, I got an instant surge of emotion & thought. It made me think of how nobody even thinks what effect such a job would have on a mind. Erudite, intriguing and ultimately a beautiful expression from someone possessing a high degree of emotional intelligence. Thank you.

    1. Thank you very much for your generous comment Nigel. It really means a lot. And yes, I was trying to put across how circumstances and work-related situations often destroy a person’s sense of self. And I’m very glad that you could relate to it.

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