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  • Donna Langevin

Burro



after a wire sculpture by Godinez


by Donna Langevin

Little burro tethered to a tree,

you wait with a bundle of mesquite logs

tied to your back that gives your spine

a fixed sway, and bows your head

low to the ground.

Borrico, your twisted metal

comes alive for me, saddled as I am

with backache, joint-pain, and nerves

like the barbed wires binding your body.


Resting for a while on a park bench

in the Sedona town plaza, I want

to fetch you a pail of cold water

that spouts from a stone gremlin’s mouth

into the blue-tiled fountain-basin

close to the Vino Uno, and the stall

that sells Navajo jewelry.

Patient, long-suffering burro

I wish I could unburden you,

rub salve on your sores, offer you

carrots or an apple from a nearby ristorante.

Instead of standing forever

in this murderous sunlight, you deserve

to rest in the shade of the Nativity stable,

feed on hay from Christ’s manger,

lick salt from his palm.

Little burro, I wish I could lead you there,

but this desert has too many thorns

and my faith is a dried-up stream.

I must leave you to wait here

among tourists snapping your picture,

and children stroking your ears.

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