Calories of burden

Calories of burden

The rag the man uses to polish
the axles; the sound those axles make

The rain amid the clip-clop of
mules’ feet; the rag now lying in the street.

Wood bestowed unto the Earth;
souls receiving souls; the rain falling silent

On oil dark piles. Iron shovels,
spades and rakes; mules now silent, pulling
no more weight.

And the man who feeds them
wages of his sweat: their calories of burden.

Jeremy Nathan Marks

This poem originally appeared in The Blue Hour on January 14th, 2015. You can view it (with two other pieces) here: