The cold clay was cut in the darkness, the steel spade lifting up the first clump. The sound of roots tearing, grass covered in the slumbering dirt. The pile began to grow, a small rough pyramid forming in the stillness. The weight on my heart grew. Each shovel cutting through the memories, each dig was making the hole inside me bigger. A bird chirped in the distance, dawn was approaching. The hole in the earth was shaped and deep enough, and I hear you arriving. I don’t look up, I don’t want to see your eyes. But I see your feet.
You let me dig the hole by myself.
You throw in the uncertainty, it drops straight down into the darkness. I then throw in never really feeling noticed, along with misunderstanding. I shake off the masks I wore.
More birds chirping and the first rays of the sun touch the trees above. I see out of the corner of my eye you release our dreams of the family we had. I then threw in some drawings the kids made for me, no longer will I ever get to be their father. More memories float down, they drip off my fingers. I choose to catch a few though, they can stay. Some thuds of hope are shed and the hole is now swimming with who us was. No longer moving, but limp layered us.
You pick up a spade, the one that I left for you. You didn’t even let us have a moment of silence. I picked up the other, and gently nudged the first crumbling clay and soil back in. You take a big chunk of dirt, and toss it in. The earth taking it back. I follow your lead. The light hits my face, my chest, my hands. It’s OK, the sun is still rising. I now look at the mound in front of me, covering the hole, the deep is unsettled but absorbing us. I feel you look at me, I do not look up. You wait, you want me to look at you. I do not look up. You sigh deeply, place the shovel down in the grass, then step away til I hear your footsteps no more.
Birds are chirping and I lightly touch the soil. My handprint appears and I stand up again. I turn away and look at the sunrise, hello my friend.