Divine Burden

Karina Teichert

Each day, as the sun barely crests upon the horizon, I rise and sling the tears of my mother, her mother,
And the mothers before her on my back 
I bear the weight of their lives 
I carry their anguish with me, 
Barely able to catch my breath in a world 
That forces my sisters to do the same 
So when they ask me why I stoop and slouch and cry out in agony, 
I say “It’s women’s work.” 

Each night, as the moon rises high amongst her lovers the stars, 
A great dagger dances slowly across my breast, 
Tearing my flesh and suffocating me with the blood of my fallen flowers; 
My daughters, my nieces 
The girls forced into womanhood too soon, 
The girls whose ichor poisons Mother Earth. 
So when they ask me why my shirt glows crimson, why my heart is so heavy, 
I sigh and say 
“It’s women’s work.” 

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