Heart Labor by Maggie Anderson

When I work too hard and then lie down,
even my sleep is sad and all worn out.
You want me to name the specific sorrows?
They do not matter. You have your own.
Most of the people in the world
go out to work, day after day,
with their voices chained in their throats.
I am swimming in a narrow, swift river.
Upstream, the clouds have already darkened
and deep blue holes I cannot see
churn up under the smooth flat rocks.
The Greeks have a word, paropono,
for the complaint without answer,
for how the heart labors, while
all the time our faces appear calm
enough to float through in the moonlight.


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