31 January 2007

paying the butcher's bill

the lion that has eaten will not stalk
fresh prey until its meal has done its job
fear which makes each limb and digit throb
alarms us even when in light we walk
at the least shadow we startle and balk
the steadiest army turns into a mob
yet cannot hear the last sane soldier sob
and turn his half-bent back and walk
away into the night that has to be
when all our coverings are stripped away
and nothing's left but honesty and pride
the greatest fear is that we'll live to see
that time of horror that most gruesome day
and when it comes will have no place to hide

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