Hanging Myself (this is not a suicide) / Jessica White

Today I ran through the woods
on a trail made by my horses
sweating out my concerns
in bright attritional glory

I felt each break
calcified in my spine
bony protrusions invading structured filaments
of soft tissue, atrophied

giving way to the demands, I thought
of a red beaded curtain spreads
over the housewife and her burdens
hidden from sight and thus from empathy

I ran on and on
exchanging one pain for another
over logs, fallen trees and small dried up creeks
splitting the ground as it travels, I thought

of a collar grown into a forgotten puppy’s neck
open but coagulated long before
he ceased to  whimper
when Phenobarbital delivered him at last,
and then eternal sleep

So I ran through woods into the field
pastures of scant winter grass
up a hill toward the blooming daffodils
tricked by a imposter of Spring
into opening their buds too soon

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