The lady ox II

The lady ox
pulls at the chains
and the wagon and the world
for six days or years or decades
and stops
Sweat rolling off and tears
She kneels in the traces
Bows her head
and weeps
The seventh day or decade
She weeps in grief at her failure
She weeps in longing for the Beloved

The sweat
the tears flood
The other mothers sweat and tears rise
And flood the universe

Swirling around her
The chains from her back
The wagon is lifted and floats
The world is lifted
The lady ox
Coughs and snorts
In the salt water
And lifts her head to breathe

She is in a swamp
A brackish tideland
She has no legs
But a tail and flipper hands
She floats and turns
In the warm sun
Moist haze
A sea cow
Dragonflies swoop around her
Her daughter flashes by in the water
Her son on the surface, oar in the water
Sometimes he dives in
She watches in wonder

Feeling the warm salty water
and sun on her face
It is so easy to float
As if in a dream
The smell of water hyacinths floods her
She moves closer
She is hungry
She closes her eyes
At the first taste of flowers


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