I dig a hole in the peat and make it ten feet deep.
I lay on my back for ten years. I survive on moss and manna.
For ten years I study the movement of the stars
and reassure passersby, concerned or confused,
that everything is under control.
Wars shake the soil. Ten silent nights follow the discord.
I count ten desperate voices singing Christmas carols
and then nine voices, and then eight. I chew my cud clean.
When finally even the crickets have lost their songbooks
I struggle to climb out of the hole. My body is a heap of puddy.
I watch the sun set across a horizon of mounds.
Little wooden crosses wrapped in rope have started falling apart,
changing from headstones to sticks in the mud, counting one by one
as I learn to crawl, walk and run. I find a radio and change the station.
A man is counting down from ten until the missile meets its maker.
I look through the rubble for some familiar noun. I look for stars and find none.
I listen for songs or sounds of war. I look for a grave much deeper.