The Shiftiest Row to Hoe

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“…if no man ever yet told the truth about himself
it was because no man ever could.” —Samuel Clemmons


Behind the outhouse
buried in dirt in a steel strongbox
unmarked as a pauper’s grave
is the truth of someone’s days
placed during a lifetime with
shovel and pick, by sweat and toil
to keep it covered, unmarked,
unkempt, hopefully forgotten
since every least moment
open and closed etched in time, 
lies there moldering
with the dispiriting thought
that no one, not even its owner,
could honestly explain or bear
its saddest parts, its tall tales 
of lies

Jim Culleny
1/11/17

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