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: https://thebluehourmagazine.com/2015/01/14/3-poems-by-jeremy-nathan-marks/