Picking up what they’d dropped not long before,
They gain a new acquaintance with the ground
That will return to haunt them all the more.

Lost words and deeds, quickly become a bore,
Make for how tedious they will have found
Picking up what they’d dropped so long before.

The more lost buried memories they store
Up in a subsubsubterranean mound
(Those will return to haunt them all), the more

They find themselves returning to the lore
Of returning, sadly trying to expound
—Picking up what they’d dropped so long before—

The meaning of their task, as they explore
The lowly territory all around.
This will return to haunt them—all the more

For its low hopelessness as well as for
All their conclusions being quite unsound.
Picking up what they’d dropped too long before:
That will return to haunt them all the more.

This poem originally ran in the October 2, 2006 issue of the magazine.