if this is the truth, I want to turn away


is not the same as thinking, goes nowhere:
I think I am thinking as I chew on the same cud
of fears and regrets, but it's my soul I gnaw,
while time has gagged, so that the past and future
choke together as the bleak field expands
to include whatever the eye of God would see
if it dared look. What I pray for is not this.
And if this is the truth, I want to turn away.

Ask what that cow has to look forward to,
what thoughts she might have but of ruin and the sweet
calves she barely remembers, taken away
so soon that they have blurred together and bawl
and she can hear their piteous voices echo
in the still air and terrible sunshine shimmer

[by David R. Slavitt, from The Seven Deadly Sins and other poems]

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