I bow at your feet with a petition.
My fingers are cracked by the spindle’s insistence
that I clothe my family in the scarlet wool of your kingdom.
My back is bent by the tilling and cultivating
of land given by my father.
I rise in the dark to seek food for my family;
even my servants are fed.
I am grateful that my family thrives in your kingdom.
Trade has profited me earnings
from cloth I weave and bread I bake,
earnings that buy fields and bring profit to my household.
I serve my house.
My husband, he is respected within the city as he daily takes his seat
among the wise leaders of our land.
My children delight in the prolonging of their innocence.
My needs are few.
I am content to take my own bread
only after my husband is satisfied
and my children are fed.
But I must confess, my lord.
I am weary, so weary.
My weariness grows like weeds in my garden.
It cannibalizes flowers that delight me
and herbs that cure me.
Dawn only brings
a renewal of weariness.
My sisters have no comfort to share.
Indeed their own skin is coarser than dry bark;
their eyes dulled by their own toils.
My petition, my lord,
is simply this.
A word, a nod
perhaps a raising of your staff to let me know . . .
Do I please your majesty?
Will my labor further your kingdom?
Because weariness is a trifle discomfort
if in your army census,
I am counted as your warrior.