Beside Dripping Glaciers

by Jerry Ratch


We slept beside dripping glaciers

people like us

We were never meant to be housed

contained, kept, petted, cleaned

We could only be gutted

You used us one time

and threw us out

people like us


We sprouted the wings of desire

by watching birds gain theirs

and waft away on the warm gust

We flew south, we flew west

nobody ever went east in recent memory

we moved north with the herd

and slept on the ground

beside dripping glaciers

and got wet with our enemy's blood


People like us never held a sickle

we never saw a pasture or a flock

The word for sheep had not been heard

or thought of or desired

When rivers rose, we left and fled

and never went backward

We never experienced an oven

Everything dripped blood around the fire


Cloth — who needed it?

Clothing, furs, rings, shoes?

These were for thieves, murderers


We were never forced to listen to one

our entire lives — think of it!

Because we were free

We were free at first light

and free at last