The Donkey

By Gavia Boyden

Did you see it, trudging, all day,
along the asphalt road? And in the evening,
opening up its graceful stride—an armful of rime-gray stone,
a stillness even as it cantered into the sureness of its feet,
a snowdrift, a feather of a scrub jay,
pulling its shrill bray into the crackling winter air? Did you hear it,
braying and mourning? A harmony like the ocean
waves lapping at a lion’s husky growl?
And did you see it, finally, just under the winter
sun—a gray shadow disappearing along with the sun,
its hooves like stones dropping,
its fur the glistening of a dove’s call?
And did you feel it,
in your heart, how to open your hands to them?
And have you revised your heart?

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