He strains long against the creaking wooden wheels of the cart
Slowly lurching upward, the incline beckoning him with its taunting slope.
Every muscle grinds against another as the sweat pools at his feet.
Off to his lower left he sees a frail flower planted along this trail
Its white petals effervescent against the red clay of the dirt mud.
For a moment he lingers, but upward, forward he presses.
Along the ribbon of trail a wounded doe languishes,
He gathers her up in his weathered hand and gently places her upon the cart
Because he knows that alone is as sorrowful as death.
Grunts and groans meld into a painful chant as each step pushes up against him.
With other worldly effort he crests the trail to find a cliff and now
To heave and slip the grip so that this cursed cart can fly into the abyss
Shatter, splinter, and mangle upon the rocks far below –
Or turn and slowly, creakily return to the foot of the hill
And start again.