Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Gravedigger Johann - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

He was an old man now.
Still digging graves at
our cemetary.
Pick axe and shovel,
spade and the occasional
black wad of 'chew-it-all' tobacco.

Fifty years of digging.
Where some would die
when Earth was frozen.
And, he had days when
they were queuing for attention.
And there was never any time
for overtime.

His sweet routine:
Two fifteen deep,
one-twenty wide,
the floor be square and even.
Of course Johann
was always wise
to who was coming next.
For some of them
he dug with care,
for few with great affection.
When Martha,
his old High School flame
was on the way
for her last trip,
he carved the finest
they had seen.
'Twas something he could do.
When we last spoke,
three years ago
he stated that he would
retire after digging here.
His last square'd be his best.
He did just that
and three days on
they laid him there to rest.


Comments about Gravedigger Johann by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (12/4/2004 1:06:00 AM)


    Herbert your not getting me ready for the 'dead poet society, are you
    What a scary poem, but a good one

    Regard's allan
    (Report) Reply

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  • (12/3/2004 11:06:00 PM)


    for some reason i like this poem, any way its pretty good. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 3, 2004



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