And never speak. But move like confessions, 
Half-ashamed in the wind. 
I see birds ignore them. 
Crows black in mourning, and a sheepdog 
Lashes across a field never noticing. 
Pinned in grey moulding, 

They pass the day. 
Light is a sort of compromise, 
Cloud stands white as death. 
Still they treasure memories of Jerusalem, 
When their hooves struck stars from the ground. 
While the sun shouted greetings. 

Sky attaches itself to land like a grief 
Heavily moored. 
In a blue that is not forgotten, 
Neither sky nor land may be forgiven. 
One red-eye swims tearful at dawn, the other 
Blinks as stars ask questions. 

Today is good daylight. Rain 
Will not cry all over the donkeys 
As they walk like small grey sins, veterans of grief.
Nameless and ageless. 
I do not feel sorry for them. Grey with guilt, 
They nuzzle at bleak corners of nettles

In this sparse place of worship 
They are forgotten. I fear 
They may be suicidal. 
The sky is no benediction, 
They graze and wait for death. 




(First published in New Republic)