Today's poem is by Clint McCown

Sarah, Unbroken

My wife—Dawn—
a natural caretaker,
found a car-struck fawn
by the roadside
and brought it home,
a doubtful rescue
from the start.

She laid it in a stall
bedded with fresh sawdust
and set food and water
within its reach.

It never drank or fed.
Our soft voices
were no balm
for its broken back,
and nothing ever calmed
its panic into rest.

we named her,
that ancient human habit,
so prominent among
our weaknesses.

If need is great,
some animals surrender
to a soothing touch,
regardless of what
instinct has to say.
But others don't,
and this one clung to fear
as if it were her only hope.

She died
before the week was out,
the only ending possible,
and we grieved as if
we had an owner's right.

Maybe that was empathy,
or maybe just
the same old hubris,
left over from those
first free days in Eden,
when naming was
the only means we had
to stake a claim.

But either way,
she was never less
than wild,
and nothing about her
was ever really ours
except her name,
that artificial thread
of kinship and belonging,
an illusion
strung between ourselves
and the damage
we bring daily to the world.

Copyright © 2017 Clint McCown All rights reserved
from Total Balance Farm
Press 53
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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