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Poetry Magnum Opus

Substance


fdelano
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Substance

 

 

 

Coaxing a wary mule to let me get close

 

enough to slip the bridle and bit into its

 

toothy mouth was not a simple task,

 

one necessary as the first step to making

 

the hybrid animal controllable for another

 

day of toil, dragging a bottom plow through

 

hard earth salted with rocks, roots and even

 

the sweat of hundreds of animals

 

over the many years.

 

 

 

With straps looped over the crossbar

 

of the plow’s sturdy wooden frame,

 

I follow and encourage the mule forward,

 

back and forth across the acres, he punishing

 

me almost as much as I my torture of him.

 

The newly turned earth is at least soothing

 

to my bare feet, the contact real as the stones

 

that also bruise the bottoms of the mule’s hooves.

 

 

 

When finally, I rid him of the attached burden

 

of plow and harness, he enters the boarded pen

 

to drink heavily from the galvanized tub

 

of water before tackling the sparse allowance

 

of corn and the pitchfork of dry hay. He will

 

stand all night, not anticipating the same

 

duties bound to come with the morning sun.

 

 

 

I remember for us both, dreading and knowing

 

that with the new day I must again feel the real

 

elements of being slave to the farm’s owner,

 

just as the mule must slave for me

 

or with me. It’s a love-hate relationship

 

of fighting our fate with irritability

 

and resentment. Life. What it was.

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Fascinating reflection on a bygone era (although being revived by sustainabilists). Enjoyed the harsh light shined upon the scene.

 

DC&J

thegateless.org Come on over and check out my poetry substack y'all;-) Or if your bored, head to the Zazzle store: https://www.zazzle.com/store/gateless. If you buy anything I lose a bet, so consider that before you violate the digital rules.

 

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

must be a match made in heaven. ok i couldnt resist. it must be one hecka match in the sand dunes so to speak. does this still happen in 3-rd world countries???

 

victor

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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David W. Parsley

I wouldn't be surprised if it still happens in Appalachia. Interesting perspective.

 

- Dave

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Franklin, this is deeper than it appears at first read. It's almost a summation of the order of our known universe. Man and animal -- both toil and are beasts of burden, albeit of different kinds. One sees the bigger picture; the other's world view is not so broad, though it's "tangible" nevertheless.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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