The Last Cart Man.

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Contentment, in the knowning and the doing,
in the worship of labour
the church, a cart a shovel and a brush,
his prayers, the broom sweeping,
the shovel cutting,
the cart carrying.

The set rota of work a rosary
sixteen weeks, eight half mile sections,
each section done properly twice,
confession and penance in the cleaning
verges trimmed hard and cut back,
drains recut and opened to insure good flow,
The stations in the slow collecting.
papers picked,
bottles and cans collected.
And he was devout

Twice in forty five years
he had found body parts.
But only one day missed due to illness.
Yes devout, a practicing member
but carts are a thing of the past now,
he is the last of his kind,
A new faith of mechanical
diggers an pickers has risen.
A new testament of horsepower,
not manpower.

And so the last half mile,
the last week,
then the last hour
now the last detail.
The walk back,
a final pilgrimage
emptying his cart,
cleaning his tools,
stowing it all, for what?
The cart was retiring too.
He was the last cart man
so his cart would be the last one.

He felt it, the passing of an era,
he was passing into history.
The last cart man,
a dinosaur consigned to memory.
Well damn it,
Monday would feel strange.
He knew then why all the old
men went to early mass
every morning.
Not because they believed in god
But because they wanted to
Believe in something.

© Dave Kavanagh @ daithiocaomanaigh.com

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