Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus



Recommended Posts





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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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



Link to comment
Share on other sites

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???



Larsen M. Callirhoe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David W. Parsley

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


- Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.



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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.