Dying Near Easter, 1969

The stink of a fawn
    too small   to get through winter
killed by anti-burning
    not yet melted from the carcass
Bones defrost from skin
    making double crosses
    After the cold war   the killing heat
the burning photographs
    of singed bodies
    in plastic bags
heading for home
    piled in double crosses

Jesus Christ
was not a general   in World War II
    but think
how long Eisenhower was spared
    the miracle of death

If a prophet were alive
we would know
no suffering in Biafra
Whose black mothers
    surely love their children
enough to miscarry

The peace
of Easter lilies
as one sterile image
    white and august
    Like nuns in summer habits
black and white   are the pages
I tear each day   from the calendar
    and think
of Chuang Tzu saying
    There is nothing
    older than a dead child

David Swoyer
Contents | Mudlark No. 1
The Viewing | Collision