Tuesday, April 4, 2017

He Was Led Like a Lamb...

A-Poem-a-Day Until Resurrection Day

Photo credit: bookhaven.stanford.edu

"He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth." Isaiah 53:7 N.I.V.

Father Bob drained the cup
and replaced the cover
on the brass pyx of Hosts.
Communion over
the two old friends
settled back
in their kitchen chairs

A natural storyteller
Leo began to reminisce
about Mr. Sattel
his neighbor in Roselle Park
in the 1940s –
the best bologna maker
at the pork store nearby

Eventually the neighbor
purchased some farmland
and moved to Penn's Grove
where he built a slaughterhouse
Leo spent time there
the summer between grammar
and high school

He had watched Mr. Sattel subdue
fat squealing hogs
and tenacious bulls
Saw him and his helpers
pull resisting livestock
by a rope fed through a nose ring
to another ring in the floor
where struggling animals
were systematically
one at a time

Mr. Sattel grew hardened
even provoked to anger
by the tugging and digging in of hooves
amid the ominous odor of blood
which roused the desperate instinct
against death –

The grueling labor of slaughter
left him no energy for grief

but his steel eyes glazed over
one muggy afternoon
when he told Leo,

"I did a lamb once.

It walked right alongside me
up the ramp.

I'll never
do it

An edgy silence followed –
silent as paces of a lamb

There they sat, two white-haired friends
washed by the shed blood
of One Docile Lamb
Who walked Calvary's ramp

two thousand years ago

Maude Carolan

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