Savagery, Reverence and Mercy

Your mother rocked from
side to side backing away
from the crowd. She did
not bleat or beg with you.
After a show of yellows,
blackish purple and cadmium
on fire, I watched you dive
onto the wet and ambrosial
barnyard floor. I spoke

with the man who would
end your life, the woman
who would prepare your
body, rubbing you with
salt and sacred spring.
We nodded to the heads
of your aunties set to stew
and roast in sweet hay. Still,
they love you and I am
learning. Not one piece of
you is not considered. I

think of your older sister,
her fleece that, daily, bathes
in dappled, morning light.
She I caress with the same
hands that hold a bottle
for you to drink from. This
is our savagery, reverence
and mercy.