It’s a burden we all lug around, yet
imaginary so it’s weightless, and held
oh so fast, so it fetters and constrains.
It is universally agreed upon as necessary
by those who control it, and by those who can find
no alternative but to participate in it.
Unspeakably cruel to those who cannot
or will not apply themselves to its rule.
It is almost tangible like anticipation
like the footed ground of our paths, or
the open expanse of our atmosphere.
Floating omnipresent in the air
between the hand that wins bread and
the guarded, vaulted bakery.
It grinds away at the bottom
where the toil in steerage trickles up
as privilege to the luxury suites above.
And life itself is unimaginable
without it, indeed, how would we buy
how could we pay, or without it, even be?
And thus, on we sail
from sea to shining sea.