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And a Child of Three

I happened to be a small child of three and sitting amongst a big rock a beast.

I thought I’d wandered, wandered free but loneliness, hunger, and void struck deep.

I wandered through a dark pass of trees and found I was a feral-ling against a furry scuff of beast.

I asked the beast, “Beast, what see if I see thee?” 

Beast said, “Naught but a child of three.”

“Naught but a child of thee but beast,” I said with sorrow and angst. 

My plea, “Beast, don’t walk, don’t walk from me! 

I’ve traveled so far and deep beneath the surface of Earth and rocks and streams. 

I want to watch as watchmen see. From tops of mountains, and towers and trees. 

Don’t walk, beast, don’t walk from me. If not you that's left, then what’s in me?”

“In me,” beast said “are bones and leaves. Bones to break and leaves to breeze. 

Breeze past the face of hate and glee. Glee to hunt and burn my leaves. 

To take my bones for all to see in homes and books and minds of men. 

Men meant to slash and break and bend my flesh

and wrap their silly children in my skin my skin my skin my skin.

But child so small at age of three you ask if I may be of thee? 

I say walk not in shadows of beasts for trembling men will look to see

if beasts may live within your soul they'll take and break and burn you whole.”

“But beast I need your strength divine.”

“No strength can measure to man’s cruel eye.”

“Can not we break their serpent minds?”

“My child, my child we’ve not the time.”

“In centuries of battles fought we’ve driven only the afterthought

into the rueful minds of men who slash and burn and break and bend

till sun and moon and ocean tides cease to keep these men alive.

We walk, small child, walk not for none, for every broken bleeding beast,

every wondering child of three, every woman who's dawned regret,

is with us in our every step.”

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