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gravity tells us that in order to rise

a heavier payload must be offered in toil

history tells us they will only remember you

if your name is either something like rockefeller, windsor,

or else you’re screwed, unless (wait, an alternative)

if you want, and can grin and bear it

there is one way offered out

take on

stone after stone

cross after cross

task after task

and drag them if you must,

through high hell or stormy weather

sacrifice, labor, and strive

and all of your efforts you will make the chores worthwhile

and the great will praise your name

and you will become immortal in song

but this is not one of your hymns yet and

stones crush and crosses bore into flesh

and “i will work harder” as a horse’s brazen answer to

heavy load against the whip of empty legacy

can collapse, break, cripple


run out to meet a great destiny and it springs from the


clamps its jaws around your neck until you’re

limp, then drags you off into the brush

you know now why

they go on endlessly about

joan jesus luther any number of martyrs

whose price paid bought them a permanent part on

the world’s stage

but for all foretold glory and for all foretold wishes

even wanting it all your life find yourself when

lowered to the ground, smothered by the weight

of hundreds of deeds done for a brother mother or other,

greed and envy the one-lived-hundred with

not a crik in her back who will live to see ten more

than you

but like giles’ children will promise you

it’s the way to go.

#20192020 #Poetry

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