The Boat-Pullers by Mei Yao-ch’en

Leg broken on the sandy shore, a goose
hobbles along like a man, wings splayed:

what will it do when evening rains come
and the cold wind starts ripping through?

Sodden feathers mud-strained, arched neck
shrinking back—it doesn’t utter a sound.

That’s their life exactly. Guess it’s better
than lugging weapons around some war.

translated by David Hinton