close up of white horse face

The Burden

by Jenne Micale

How do we carry our burdens?
You cast your eyes down at the horseblock
marking the sparkle of gravel
and then up, defiant, a mare
tousling her mane as she runs free.

You accept, take it upon your back
as broad as a pony, the breath
labored until you find the balance
and then the weight can be borne.
Footfall by slow footfall to the mansion door

Until the passenger dismounts laughing.
You offer a steeled smile, run the sweaty back
of your hand across a sun-browned brow
and then return to the horseblock to wait.
The journey back: so light, the breeze drying

Your hair with cool salt, your body so free
you could run on the grasstips, whinny and roll
and you do for a time until the wait beckons.
This isn’t a one-time responsibility,
the loss in your heart the core of the earth

Pulling everything to ground in its gravity.
With the red sunset, a day ends its duties
and you slide back into the house past
their sharp comments, and shed yourself in the bath
for a time, always a time. The red dawn on the other end

Of the sky’s bowl dishes out another day
of burdens. They seemed so heavy at first,
the hours endlessly stretched, taut as a loom.
Footfall by footfall we bear their weight on,
not knowing their end, only that they do.

Jenne Micale is a writer, singer, priestess, and musician whose endeavors include the ethereal/wyrd music project Kwannon and, in former times, the wyrd folk band Belladonna Bouquet. She has published articles and poetry here and there. Listen to her music at  

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