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The lost souls of Europe
The chamber maids who removed the chamber pots
Of the nobility carrying away the unpleasant waste of digestion
I have never read a poem about them or to their lovers or children
Not so much forgotten as ignored--banished from history by flush toilets
Nor the lost souls of the strong backed men who dug the foundations
Of the castles and the cathedrals one shovel full of dirt at a time as the stones
For the walls were brought on carts pulled by workers who kept time to their
Prayers to the Blessed Mary whose tears flowed like their sweat
I marvel at the spires of Notre Dame and wonder about the men on the scaffolds
Who placed the tiles in the roof which still repel rain to this very day and wonder
What they felt when one of their comrades fell to his death or worse—broken legs
Condemned to a pauper’s life of begging for alms in his village
The grander of Old Europe shines from the history books and we celebrate the
Triumphs of Kings and the coronations of queens and the sacred Mass of the Cathedrals
And the lost souls who built the walls, the castles, the churches are sitting around the throne of
God in glory—forgotten, ignored and banished from memory—they are blessed
The knights, the nobles, the Bishops, the bankers will have to wait their turn…