the pull

An oxen pulls a cart

with all its might

 

its muscles strain

forming shapes

that outline

patches of its body

 

bulging from its skin

veins protrude

 

like the eyes of an animal

when it sees its prey

coming forth

and out

 

sweat glistens

as it drips down its skin

droplet by

droplet

 

taps

the rough ground

 

heels scrape

the surface

the brown, grey

land

 

as it surges forth

trying to get away from it all

 

away from the ranchers

that want its meat

away from the other oxen

with whom

it must compete

 

away from its sorrows

from the harsh blows of the weather

from the loss and hurt

of leaving things behind

 

but the cart that holds this oxen back

with its wooden panels

and metal wheels

 

acts too strongly

a force

worth more than gravity

 

it keeps the oxen

moving back

back

 

no matter how hard it tries

it can’t take a step forward

 

it can’t pull any longer

and instead begins to move back

 

to retreat,

to return

to its old ways on the farm

 

the pull becomes a

push

a push against

everything it

wants to work for

 

and so with words

i write

i write for the pull

the pull against

the things that

keep

pushing

us

away

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