Behind our house, the metal maws crunch
And maul slender maids, standing tall
And silent in their mottled, winter greys.
Resigned to their fates, they do not try to escape.
They are too wise for that. They have seen
The monster's mark on kith, kin and mate;
They know its power. They know it is their hour.
There is nothing I can do. I stand here,
Teeth, fists, and stomach clenched, while the men
Stand round blinking, murky thoughts
Tumbling slowly through a vacancy.
There is nothing I can do against those metal
Teeth, those men standing stiff as a picket
Fence, arms crossed in benediction.
Bodies fall, green veils crash
To the ground. The earth's arms reach up to catch them.
Dismembered limbs, stuffed in a trunk to be burnt
At leisure; they were wise once. I shall remember
Their whispered conversation, the cool shelter
Of their scented garments, the song concealed
And loosed on the sun's arc. Tomorrow, these teeth
Meet my own metal claws, small,
But dangerous, driving the monster back. And I
Shall loose my impotent war cry on the indifferent woods
And remember the shades of maidens past. We all
Die eventually. Age makes death a handmaiden;
Someone to be welcomed, eventually.