To Tom, the Ox: Poetry

By Glen Lassen


The large white ox did everything of any note,

As forward bound and upward bound he went

Over the top of Wyoming.

He bore, somewhere beneath his hardened hide,

The crucible burn, the Carthage cauldron mark

Of those who’d seen the place where Joseph died.

Now, he pulled with neck and bone the remnant root,

The forge-fired, first virgin press of the faith,

The refined weight and mass of all that was left.

So taken was the boy along his side

With the import of the spittle at the mouth,

The large, love-leadened legs that longed for home,

That he, barefoot and overcome with grief

For such a selfless bearer of the cross,

Flung himself (as shawls are often flung)

Over the shoulders of the dear one,

Bowed his head in proxy for the lost,

And wept as though just One had ever wept.

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