A Poem: Relief

I thought I understood the concept
of putting things down.

I would feel them grow in weight.

But perhaps our attempts at lifting things off
might only just shift them in place.

That for a while we walk
heads held high

until the new muscle quavers and
pulls,

a burden familiar making itself known
with a weight we’re not meant to assume.

Try taking responsibility off someone not ready
whose role is pain-stakenly refined.

But there comes a day
when the ache is too great

and the muscle disabled
gives in.

A back is not made to be bent out of shape
by a yoke designed for our best.

Freedom, a gift
for those who might recognise it

as living no life
but our own.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
June 2020


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