In that country the animals  
have the faces of people:
 
the ceremonial
cats possessing the streets
 
the fox run
politely to earth, the huntsmen  
standing around him, fixed  
in their tapestry of manners
 
the bull, embroidered
with blood and given
an elegant death, trumpets, his name  
stamped on him, heraldic brand  
because
 
(when he rolled
on the sand, sword in his heart, the teeth  
in his blue mouth were human)
 
he is really a man
 
even the wolves, holding resonant  
conversations in their  
forests thickened with legend.
 
           In this country the animals  
           have the faces of  
           animals.
 
           Their eyes
           flash once in car headlights  
           and are gone.
 
           Their deaths are not elegant.
 
           They have the faces of  
           no-one.

Free Verse

  • 0
  • 0
  •  
  •  
Login to comment...
Email

Other works by Margaret Atwood...