Christopher T. George

The Grave Digger of Lesbos 

It was never my intent to care for corpses.

I came to Lesbos to study the Classics.
Somehow, along the way, I became a soother of the dead: 
refugees stiff in flimsy boats or washed ashore in parts. 

Understand me, body parts don’t unnerve me
—I bury all according to Sharia law. 
I do the same for a whole body or a foot.

I wash it tenderly, shroud it in white cotton cloth,
and pray facing Mecca: “Allah forgive our living 
and our dead”—shaded by Sappho’s olive trees. 

© Christopher T. George

Christopher T. George was born in Liverpool, England, in 1948 and first came to the United States in 1955. He studied poetry with Sister Maura Eichner and Elliott Coleman. His poetry has been published in journals worldwide, including in Poet Lore, the American Poetry Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Beyond Words, and Madness Muse Press. Chris has a poetry site at

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