Breaking Backs

Step lightly and carry barbed wire,
touch cracks and break mother-bones,
sink into pavement, carry your load.
Step softly, wear rough-hair robes,
flagellate, beat Bibles, bleed,
sink into loam, wear hymnals through.
Step hard, blow your horn,
rouse angels, they will ride,
sink through clouds, wear gossamer.
Step fast, crush fallen leaves,
dirty sheets, stained with plague,
sink through death, wear black.
Step once, step twice, step no more,
then sail on wings made of clay,
sink, moon your anchor, and rise.


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