“Beast of burden” has been my name
My home uncharted, the wild terrain
Sure-footed, though some think me slow
I tread in places they cannot go
And bear their weights upon my back
Sparing strength, where others lack
For the poorer among the nations
The only feasible transportation
From season to season, and place to place
I carry their burdens, and do so with grace.
But all loads are not equal, as you will soon know.
Like that of a woman, some long years ago –
And a boy, in her womb, in the cart behind me
To lighten their journey, the maker assigned me
Into a town, my task to bring
In shrouded form, the highest King.
Her trial to bear, though mine to share
Against the backdrop of poverty, pain,
Oppression, confusion, and fear, he came
Bringing light to the darkest places
The night sky, a manger, forgotten faces
Of blue-collared shepherds, and then the likes
Who stomps among the dikes.
For the greatest must be the servant of all,
He said, while breaking his body like bread
And spilling his blood upon the ground
And sifting the earth for those to be found
And taking the sins of the people who slew him
Transforming the lives of all who knew him
Similarities stop, between he and I
At an earlier point, but isn’t it sly…
Of all the beasts of the field, which he owns
He would bring honor to something so low
As a donkey, like me – two times, no less
Once to his birth, and once to his death
I carried the man who died on the wood:
“Beast of burden,” like me. He understood.
For the inspiration behind this poem, please visit my earlier post, “A Beast of Burden.”
Merry Christmas, everyone!