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Sport 19: Lightworks

The Mule

page 172

The Mule

What takes place is the mule
leans one ear up on the wall
and brays. Then he pushes the other ear
and his head too, heaves, so his hind
legs are muscle tight, but no dice,
the wall stands. He brays. It is too quiet
with this wall and besides it is ugly
weatherboard and the creek continues
to run and run it's maddening! So turn
about and push my donkey-arse against
the goddam shaft and crap on it
he thinks. Nix. Bray, a good, low-high
mule sound the real thing. Sweat.
Then sleep and after he has woke
walk around the wall where there
are seventeen hundred mules braying
and betting at the window some catch
the sun and in the corner is a troupe,
singing and dancing and kicking up
their hooves, free of charge. Under
a tree is even one mule eating
fish cake and reading a catechism
to his girl! The noise! He brays, leans
one ear up on the wall, then pushes
the other ear and his head, too, so his
legs strain and are muscle tight.
Brays. That's the sum of it.