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Mercy, For Robert


                  Kyrie!  Kyrie!   Kyrie!

you euthanized 
the cow and buried her
after helping
to deliver her calf
what can I say?  

The dogs I've put down 
have gone that way --dignity
in submission, 
                          the openness 
                          of their hearts

whoever bears witness 
to this becomes it

the real meaning 
of the sacrament is clear 
one must become 
the blood and body 
of the animal
we harbor
and harbors us

Cow-eyed Hathor 
mother of light 
the Egyptian heavens                  
the sun's rays 

                    from her udder 
                    her message 

and renewal
from her udderance


You are the shaman
You bring things into the world
You see them out
You are a container for the tears
   in things
   observer of the seen 
   and unseen

there is only this
what requires we reacquaint ourselves
with the world
what we saw from the inside out
to see again from the outside in
and then from all sides
at once

nothing matters more
than midwifing life 
and succor 
the foals you introduce 
to the milk
lay the tooth mother
to rest

good to be a part 
of what needs 
no further telling 
to honor 
             one who 
             draws from the well
             of insufficiency
as though it were

and so we shall do
for you what
we can

prepare your room 
and welcome 
you home

  Paul Pines