The Wisdom of the Dead
The dead know the way the water flows
through every crevice in the crust
beneath the sealed coffins. Buffed
and polished, the black of their Sunday
shoes remains, but the dead desire feet
bare and bathed in the seep of rain.
Their bone boxes keep them packed
in rows. Then, the first hard freeze
begins the heaving, water empowered
to move earth, roots, and stone,
but not the steel of modern caskets.
The fortunate few convince their families
to conceal pry bars, wedges, and ratchets
in the white crepe lining. On winter nights,
the cemeteries echo with the sound of metal cracking.
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