The value of suicide

He spent his last breath
on a spade, and had
three farthings change out of an acre.

Mud clung to his boot,
and blistered it.
The old clag. He shooed

the top-soil away, startling
the clay with one cut
and no expense

spared. Not for nothing:
thrift in his arms,
thrift in the hunted

words in his whistle,
all it was worth
to cover what he'd laid out

like a corpse on the floor
of his kitchen.
He was stuck in

sludge, in mud puttees,
in the mental
arithmetic of dirt, of hanging

his hopes on
the simple prospectus
of a single spade.

A burial, no
ceremony. It was all
he was worth.

From Looks Familiar