The Messenger

All day I haul this load around.
The one who hired me for the job
offers scant pay, even less direction.

No address for delivery. The orders
merely Walk this way, walk that way,
until you drop. A mule

tracing dry country trails,
I may only bray assent,
its chorus, dissent.

The pack strapped to my back
jammed with cargo,
Time and Space

wrapped around (so as not to break)
every foible of the human race. No wonder
the little Soprano’s wheezing inside.

Still, she’s singing, cobbles a hymn,
a cough, asthmatic carol, a tune
a mule can move her hooves to.


Jen DeGregorio’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals, both print and online, in the United States and United Kingdom (A Narrow Fellow, Able Muse Blackbox Manifold, Breakwater Review, Cake, and Lyre Lyre); DeGregorio has also read her work at several New York reading series and written about poetry for The Rumpus. One of DeGregorio’s poems was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and she was a recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ College Prize, the Catalina Paez & Seumas MacManus Award. DeGregorio earned an MFA from Hunter College (City University of New York), where she teaches undergraduates and she also works for an arts program.

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