The Servant


The water drips. 
The old bucket squeaks. 
                        There is a hole in the side,                    
                        the handle is broken, 
and I am too poor,              
               too meek,                        
                               to have it fixed.  

So I now carry it                       
                      one hand on the bottom,                       
                      the other on the edge. 
But I am growing weak,                      
                              too weak,                                
                                         to carry it like this,
                                                                       for long.  

Someday, I know,                      
                           I will drop the bucket. 
And the water will spill                              
                                   all over the floor,                               
                                   and my master's shoes.                              
                                   His very shoes.

Still my master will look                             
                                     at me,     
with his piercing eyes that                                 
                                        I can never meet. 
And he will not say a word. 
He will not condescend                            
                                  to speak                                     
                                               to me,                            
                                  or yell                                   
                                           at me. 
But I will understand.         
       I will understand.
And I will feel                     
                        his anger,     
and it will burn                      
                      inside of me. 
And I will be sick                        
                          for a week.                        
                         A whole week. 
                         A long week.
I shudder at the very thought.
I am frightened,                      
                          truly frightened.  

My future is bleak.   


I have committed                      
                        a grievous error.                      
                        A truly grievous error. 
And now, I am being punished                                  
                                               for it,  
My master himself has chosen                                  
                                             to administer                                   
                                             the punishment.      

And I feel honored by this,                                 
                                     so honored      
I cannot feel any pain,                             
                              not the slightest hint
                                                             of it.  
Until I drop                  
                   to the ground,     
and I see my master's shoes,                                 
                                         next to my eyes. 
And I try to kiss them,                             
                               before I faint.  

Then my nose begins                          
                                     to bleed,                         
                                     it begins to bleed,                                       
                                                         and bleed.  

Ah. Water first I spill,                              
                              and now blood         
     on your shoes,                        
                           O, master. 
How inconsiderate                       
                             of me. 
How bloody inconsiderate.