He put his foul mouth to one end of a hollow cane
And puffed a gust of wind from his lungs …
Statistically infallible marksmanship
And a poison-tipped dart conspired to interrupt
The play of a little monkey
On the lacy shores of the forest in the sky
And sent it tumbling down,
To lower and lower branch
It hit the hard surface
Of all that hungers and thirsts and cries.
But a sin was not committed, in spite of his foul mouth.
A day’s honest work was done.
He scratched his bare behind, as he did after every kill,
And slinged the monkey over his shoulders.
Little hairy arms dangle, keeping time
To the hunter’s pace quickened by heartbreaking
Cries unseen but all too familiar.
What delicate fingers!
Sweet little eyes! Shut.
It fell asleep in the heaven’s mortal embrace.
He is going to put the baby to bed.
Yes, he is.