Broken Back

Ryan Goodwin

A Ping, a Snap, a Pop.
My Spine,
A fragile tightrope,
Can barely take much more.

The weight increases,
As I listen, I pull,
As I try, I care.
But your towers

Now surround me,
And I can’t tell mine from yours.
Please, stop, take this load,
And let me walk,

Let me breathe.
Let me carry on,
With what I must
And not what I can.

For I’ve carried the Lord, His Mother,
And have let them be.
Their use for me is over
And their rules are dusty,

Archaic like the bottom bricks:
The things you told me
Long ago.
And if I am to be honest

This isn’t how it was supposed to go,
But I am your donkey,
Your brittle spine,
Taking on your problems, instead of mine.

Aged 18

Ryan writes:  the poem actually came whilst
I was having a few drinks with a friend.
We were talking about how things sometimes
weigh us down, stress us out or whatever and
the metaphor “donkey carrying bricks” was used.
The following day I couldn’t get over the metaphor,
it was kind of eating me, I guess. Then a few
lines kind of clicked into place in my head
and I took it from there.