John Freeman – Weight

John FreemanJohn Freeman (January 29, 1880 – September 23, 1929)

What if each time
you caused pain
a small round stone
was put in your pocket
pebbles for inducing
self-doubt
osmium for death.
When you heard
someone approach
their pockets noisy
you’d know,
just as dogs do:
to keep distance.
Some men
would pull wagons
behind them,
their pants disfigured.
They’d be shamed
from sidewalks
delayed at customs,
they could never
lie flat on beds.
They’d have
to stand feeling
the weight of
what they’d done.