Spring 1986, Volume 3

John Kendrick
The Fawn

The fawn is dead in fevered nights!
Gathered in his robes of fur,
Stilled, those staring eyes of lights,
Lidless under lamps of myrrh.

Now his dry nose breathes old thorns
Of other dead things ... hesitates
Upon the ashes of the horns
Of untried power ... relegates

His running legs to cancelled bones.
His last thought may have been of flight.
But frightened hearts made hoofs of stones
When metal Lords decreed the site

Of combat, circumstance, events,
Between old steel and flesh of child.
A difference in the world's contents
Of mixtures ... contrived, lost, wild.

Yet, when the two in opposite
Directions from the moon and sun
Met in unequal eclipse,
The joy of child refused to run.

And now the metal of the man,
Showing signs of aged restraint,
Retires, dumb, in a witless hand,
Still carrying fawn blood in its paint.

Can this be God's plan, disparate goals,
One, the living, the other, dead?
Then why has He entrusted souls
To man, and not the fawn instead?

Reprinted from Another North, 1977 by John Kendrick by permission of the author