Why shed the blood of a lamb
that can’t trample a scurrying ant
nor scare a perching fly;
that can’t hurt a brooding hen
nor startle preening chicks;
that can’t raise her voice beyond a baa
nor bleat in a noise-free zone;
that can’t brawl with fellow lamb
nor upset her shepherd’s peace;
that can’t restrict the udder to her young
nor deny the fingers of a milking maid;
that can’t shield her ram from harm
nor refuse a nod to the slaughter table;
who in silence walks to the shearing shade,
who in silence yields her throat to a knife–
in silence shouts her innocence?
For food or fur?
No: the price to keep
the wild free,
the roaring lion from shedding blood.
Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi
(Jan 29, 2018)