The living breath is ragged in his throat,
His legs are tense, not knowing where to run,
Or which way fear will come. His strength is spent
And yet his walking death is scarce begun.
Driven away from safe familiar fields
Driven away from any shepherd’s care
No more sweet grass is offered to his lips
He must find food where all is scant and bare.
This is the realm of jackal and of owl
The haunting absences, the empty sere,
A desolation fully destitute
Where every stone and rock will whisper “fear…”
Driven, unshriven, under a fierce sky,
Lost in a land that breathes no kindliness,
How can he know – poor, dumb and suffering beast –
That God’s own self shall walk this wilderness?