This is the trial of strength

that takes my tatters if I win
that makes me whole and white and clean -
but in-between that then, and now,
a dreary grey sighs the breeze
and the rock is heavier than me 
and the skies more leaden 
and the noise increases, a deafening made 
by no living thing.

I hear the calls, the laughs, the jeers
but keep my course, the line
beneath my feet hot, skin singed,
but I walk it anyway
and hope they'll go away

and I can exit in a valley
pure and clean with living streams
and stars above and trees sighing
softly as the breeze plays.

There, there will be a hollow in the ground
scooped the exact shape, size, weight in the round
as the burden in my hands -
to find that hollowed space,
relieve my hands, there, to make my stance
and lay my burden down.
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