Die to Live

 

Like a drunken man

Limp and unsteady,

The wounded deer crawled

Over a ready-made, rocky bed

And sprawled

Headlong into silence.

 

Unrelenting and skilled

As a supermarket butcher,

The red-nosed coyote

Filled his mouth with flesh

And tasted his bloody future.

 

But the coyote never thought

What the deer had brought.

 

Later the same day,

Like a prowling hound,

I found civilization and Danís Deli.

Soon my white incisors

Cut into crusty drumsticks.

 

As I pulled flesh from the bones,

With sublime terror,

I remembered the dying deer,

The red stones,

And the coyote

Tearing meat from the thigh.

 

Creatures devour others

In order to live.

Yet this pattern

Typifies a higher choice.

 

Christís still-ringing voice

Invites all:

To eat His flesh,

To drink His blood,

To die in order to live.

 

© Allen Hackworth 2000