Not the bristle-bearded Igors bent

under burlap sacks, not peasants knee-deep

in the rice-paddy muck,

nor the serfs whose quarter-moon sickles

make the wheat fall in waves

they don't get to eat. My friend the Franciscan

nun says we misread

that word meek in the Bible verse that blesses them.

To understand the meek

(she says) picture a great stallion at full gallop

in a meadow, who -

at his master's voice - seizes up to a stunned

but instant halt.

So with the strain of holding that great power

in check, the muscles

along the arched neck keep eddying,

and only the velvet ears

prick forward, awaiting the next order.