Poetry

Physical Education

The affliction is a sack of gravel without a strap.
It demands to be moved.
They bear it together.

He plucks the handkerchief
from his pocket and wipes his brow.
This address here is barely a footstep from where they began.

You did not give it your all.

The accusation is not spoken
aloud. It does not need to be.

He is right. She has made no headway
in urging the burden towards its destination
(where was that again?)
He says she has done nothing, that those inches
gained were his. That she has ridden free.

Her exertions are lost on him. It is all press
and no progress. She has frayed
her back, torn connective tissue, bruised bone.
Sweat is easily mistaken for tears.

Force against force.
The problem is one of physics.
She suddenly understands this.

A single choice:
air accepts her invitation. A rending
sets free the clutch of gravity.

She splits open. He loses his grip. The sack sags
and 359 other directions
of travel appear. They both tumble out to sky.

Off she drifts, loose from the pod that held the seed.
Fluff and dust. It catches a gust.
Weight is barely a memory.