Self Punishment

I patted the earth

As lovingly as one could with the huge shovel of the excavator.

I shut off the rumbling motor.

My bones rattled on, no longer able to work but not quite able to rest either.

I was finished.

I had now buried everyone I knew,

And some I didn’t.

No stones marked the graves.

What for? There was no one left to read them.

No tears washed my face.

Crying was a luxury for those who would be comforted.

I was too tired to comfort myself.

I closed the door to the shed where I had parked the excavator

And almost laughed as I observed myself lock it.

But old habits are hard to break,

Like living.

I had warned them about the carriers,

Alarmed as they dropped off one by one.

I never warned them about me.

To say I didn’t know is no excuse.

I didn’t want to know.

I never tried to know.

Even when I did know.

Now I have been convicted to live.

Two other carriers help each other join their friends.

I cannot. I must serve my sentence.

I slowly returned to the shed that serve as my lodging.

I went inside

And locked the door.

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