to learn is the someday you’ll someday
stagger to, blinking in cold light, all tears
shed, ready to poke your bovine head
in the yoke they’ve shaped.
Everyone learns this. Born, everyone
breathes, pays tax, plants dead
and hurts galore. There’s grief enough
for each. My mother
learned by moving man to man,
outlived them all. The parched earth’s
bare (once she leaves it) of any who watched
the instants I trod it.
Other than myself, of course.
I’ve made a study of bearing
and forbearance. Everyone does,
it turns out, and note
those faces passing by: Not one’s a god.