Digging
by Peter Huggins


On the Bay of Naples Medwen's bones
Tell me that when Vesuvius erupted,

Waves of lava covered her.  With my brush
I uncover her and give her life back to her.

In her arms she holds her master's son,
Who mouths a gold teething ring.

When Medwen asks Paulus the boatman
To take her and the baby into the bay,

Paulus says he can't, he broke his arm.
Cynthia, who I think loves Paulus,

Tries to help him turn over his boat.
He drops his end and they know they won't

Get the boat into the bay.  The lava,
I hate to say, covers them again.

Looking at the bay, I think Cynthia,
Medwen, the baby and Paulus aren't dead.

They sail away from the ashes,
The lava, and me.  I let them go.






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