Today's poem is by Pamela Harrison


I lug the trunk with me everywhere,
prop it with pillows, pretend it's art.
But lately, it's grown so heavy I recall
the tale of a rag man given a bag of coal,

and how the poor soul labored home,
dragging for his children's sake
a sagging load that with each mile
grew heavier than his heart could bear.

Gasping through the cottage gate
and up a walk where common flowers slouched,
he barely reached the stoop before he died.
None was more surprised than I

to find his load had turned to gold.
Nothing in my chest can change until,
weary of hauling what I would not own,
I'm strong enough to set the baggage down.

Copyright © 2003 Pamela Harrison All rights reserved
from Chariton Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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