We start with all four of my legs firmly on the ground.

Stable, resilient and strong. My back is broad and there is room for a heavy load, because I know you have much you need me to carry.

I’m here for you, pile it on; i’ll find ways to brace and take the strain, to juggle pieces around to balance the weight of your fear, your blame and your shame. Your sharp points and ragged edges may pierce and tear at my thick skin, and yet I keep standing under the strain; as solid as that trusty, determined, dutiful burro.

As my legs begin to tremble, my sides start to bleed and my heart beats faster, I dig deeper and work harder, because I understand and accept my task.

But sometimes – just sometimes – the burden you give me to hold proves too much. Your load comes too thick, or too fast, or it clashes with my own, and the struggle to bear it all reaches a tipping point I can no longer contain. Like buckaroo, I crumple and twist, and gravity takes over to throw off everything in one explosive and sorry moment.

Because I am just me, and sometimes the load is bigger than I am.

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