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Patrick Williamson, from The Parley Tree

It is not a matter of shoulders

Abdellatif Laâbi — Morocco

It is not a matter of shoulders
or biceps
only the world's burden
Those who are able to bear it
are often the frailest
They too are prone to fear
doubt
despondency
and sometimes driven to curse
the splendid Idea or Dream
that exposed them
to the fire of Gehenna
But if they bend
they do not break
and when by frequent misfortune
they are cut and mutilated
these human reeds
know that their bodies hacked
by treachery
will become as many flutes
that shepherds at daybreak
raise to their lips
to capture
and convey to the stars
the symphony of resistance