By Ari Banias, Hunter MFA Poetry 2007
(First publishd in Art & Letters, no 17, Spring 2007)
The slow mule of my heart
lugs its buckets of blood
uphill. Most days it trudges
close to collapse, blind
stumbler. It knows the path
keeps it going. What else
is there?—carry the buckets,
empty them. Descend, fill up,
now start the sloshing crawl
again. This tiding blood to the head.
Doing it for those rare days
it dances there, precious. Effortless
waves, the climb exquisite flight,
nothing like work. The buckets’ light
swing, easy on the back. Tide goes out, in.
Soon this will pass.