The Donkey

by Erika Byrne-Ludwig

Since dawn doesn't understand my words, I will give them to the donkey, finely cut for him, let them ferment some time and add a few sprigs of lucerne. The donkey grazes in the meadow down the road and always welcomes me with a grin that displays his mauve gums and his teeth shaded in musty green. I hand him my fodder of words: here, I say, you'll like them, even though they're more lemons than carrots. He scrutinises my eyes before eating my offering, his mouth chewing sideways, each crumb, each grain, each stem, each thought, looking at me from under his long straight lashes before launching a loud bray which shows to the sky his teeth spotted with greenish words.