Books > Old Books > Poetry Northwest (1959)


Page 35

Beth Bentley
THIS BEAST

of burden, never
found wild, born into bondage, chews
his cabbage twice.
He is not a sight for sore eyes: his feet are
like rag-mops, to withstand
both heat and sand;

gibbous, he bows
his warty foothills to the least
human beast.
Questioning, smoke-eyed, ruminant, his gaze
is like the charred glass
that clears an eclipse.

Yet, mind those eyes:
they are neither forgiving nor longsuffering,
but abstruse as the water that he muddies
before he drinks. Notice
his rindy knees

that when he walks
knock, rock out sea-going motions.
They are prayer-cushions
when he kneels. Lastly, which of us takes
on journey a full skin
of salvation?

travel books:
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