Can the livestock lie down with the wolf?
A lamb of short cut wool. Nude colored
and halved black hoof tapping shoals noisily in the dark.
Stalked by the wolf black as night, red in tooth
a blood matted mouth, grinning. A greeting
only to the innocent glowing white lamb,
friend to friend.
How can it be? The lamb remained a lamb bald and weak,
small and sleek. Or has the world worked hard hungry hands
over the offering? The grass fed sacrifice, reshaped dense,
sharpened bones into slicked back horns,
tiny trembling feet raised cloven hammers,
pounding ground and snorting dust and air.
Our innocent lamb now works and bleats to inspire fear. Pure no longer.
Tough and mean, still convinced beneath a thick skull it appears to be meek.
And the wolf, a beast howling hunger up at a full round moon,
a predator pitifully calling on company gurgled out a vertical throat,
outpouring pain and a gut wrench of sorrow. A friend with a voice also,
conscious of harmony, listening with sympathy, at songs sung lonelily.
Sweet, uplifting tones when times are good, and behavior tame, otherwise,
there is an ape in place of our angel, whose fists lay down lessons of pain,
obedience, trembling submission only to wait a little while,
and then call student come crawl deep beneath covers and cuddle. Embraced.
In the same soft arms that were just hard, tense, hands formed of fists,
capable now of good thorough petting.
The mythological hunter, once roaming and stalking in tight-knit droves,
has been reshaped into a pet, brown eyes for Man. Batting and staring.
Hungry to please, begging for scraps, sharing the fleas.
And the lamb is grown into a ram, lunging before a hyper dog’s raised ears,
wildly smiling while the sheep rears. Both give and take. Equally tease.
Playing games and ignoring the other’s presence with ease.
But when those ancient voices speak up now in an animal’s mindset,
it has become the wolf who lies down to the lamb on its hind legs.