The cow walks in the field.
The eye that I can see regards me quietly.
She thinks that I am not the enemy, so she resumes her grazing.
So soft is her eye, it is as if she has given herself over to me.
“Take. Eat. This is my body.”—
Christ’s philosophy in part from the eyes of a cow.
How often have I consumed her, and forgotten that soft eye—
The meadow of soft eyes who have regarded me.
Some people wait their whole lives for such an eye—
Kneeling at their altars—
Chanting in their doom—
Or simply tossed and rolled
Over and over against stones.
The eggs are laid, gathered, and fried in a pan.
The rooster crows and wakes, and then is slain.
The fish fights valiantly
Pulling and twisting
Before lying in her pan.
The lamb frolicked earlier with other lambs
Before he is led to the slaughter.
A lamb to the slaughter—
My God, what an image!
Whoever first declared the phrase certainly understood
The animals willingly and unwillingly lying down before us—
Sacrifices occasionally made holy not by our unclean hands,
But by the purity and artlessness of those slain.
Sona Schmidt-Harris is a published poet and journalist. She knew she was hooked on writing for a lifetime when in third grade her short story, “Little Alfie” was published in the California school district’s literary journal.