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This poem is taken from PN Review 4, Volume 4 Number 4, July - September 1978.

Four Poems Paul Hyland

A DIG THROUGH DUST

I dream a dig through dust:
a pit I cannot tell how deep,
Sheol, the grave perhaps,
timber long since riddled to ash.
I scratch and sieve for goods;
ornaments, spindle-whorls and bones.

Find none. A post-hole then
whose tree and cross-tree raised a roof;
I comb the flinty ground
for sherds, grain, signs of the sacred
or profane, black layers
of occupation; and find none.

But for three Roman nails,
rust-cankered. Post-hole then, and grave.
Out of the dig's raised dust
a man-a gardener-appears
...


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