E. Martin Pedersen
I left my hometown of San Francisco, California, in 1978 for a long hitch-hiking trip around the Mediterranean, ending up in Messina, Sicily, where I still live. I teach English at the local university. My poetry has appeared in Frigg, Strong Verse, Ink Sweat & Tears and others. To relax, i play the banjo, follow baseball, take summer walks on the PCT and blog at www.emartinpedersen.com.
The Big Strong Man holds up a great weight
how did he get this weight?
did he choose it?
whose weight is it?
can't he just set it down?
The Big Strong Man does not ask himself these or other questions
The Big Strong Man holds the weight up all day and night
It's not getting any lighter,
Everybody sees the Big Strong Man holding the weight above his head, impassible
an X of granite, mandala man, circle X brand man, Da Vinci man, World Charles Atlas,
he does not tremble under the pressure.
What nobody sees
is that every day the Big Strong Man
at a certain moment
turns quietly into one of those little yellow butterflies, butter-colored flies
those one-of-hundreds common field butterflies spasmodically flapping
and leaves his mystery spot, his X mark
and goes for a buzz among friends
around and around sniffing the upright flowers
settling down on foxy petals of all shapes and sizes, new and old
sticking his nose (or whatever) into the opiate pollen
and taking another quick spin around the garden.
Then the butterfly notices
the excruciating piteous despondency of the X man
and he returns to his place in the world,
he becomes the Big Strong X
©2016 E. Martin Pedersen