“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.”
Late, with Midway shutting down, its steamy rides
dissolved in the dark, I slipped back in
where my calf was tied—the slaughterhouse looming
larger now—and whispered a goodbye I thought
had no roller coaster. But gazing into each roomy eye,
I saw a dark show ring, my posed Hereford
calf and me, a bleeding red ribbon in my hand.
And, though he’d been judged as more than meat,
mere meat he was. Never mind that I had curried
the shiny hair into waves and tousled the tail
to stir the judges and me to dream of higher things.
In his dark eyes my betrayal: pieces of silver
and rope for hanging, then left to join my family at the car—
one family, together, many years still before us.
Father paused before starting the car, to visit
with someone parked nearby. We sat, and I watched
long trucks backing up to the barns, the calves shoved
and falling, rising, tripping up the chute,
and with our windows rolled down, front and back,
rolled down all the way, I listened to them bawling.
From subTerrain #69 (Meat)