By Katie Ford
God is not light upon light, no more
than goat is need upon need
although there, where it grazes, it is sun upon coat
within which ticks and stray-blown feed burrow
into the pocked skin of such foul scent
covering the underflesh heart that could eat
this farmer's grain or the barren mountain's bark
high in the solitude of sheer animal peace
laid over sheer animal terror.
We ask the animal afflicted by its time,
its impoverished American meadow
that drove it to find birch from which to strip its easy feed
to abide with us.
It does not need us. We think it needs us.
We must forgive God God's story.
Katie Ford, "Little Goat" from Blood Lyrics. Copyright © 2014 by Katie Ford. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.
Source: Blood Lyrics (Graywolf Press, 2014)