Cibola 66

Marcos (3) (conclusion)

The friar sighs. Coughs.
What dreamers, all those prophets!

How much more sensible
the Psalmist, eulogizing
the young lions
roaring for their prey,
seeking their food from God.

And the Seraphic Father, who wrote
in his homely way All praise
to you my Lord
for Sister Death . . .

Already three of his guides, knives out,
have reached the site.
He shouts them off it:
Déjalo, por piedad!
The lion too must eat.

He feels her eyes on him, breath
of coolness off some remnant
snow pack–he scans the peak
for a telltale glare among
the crags, the high meadows–
lingering like the words
of a favorite verse

long after the fire
that fixed them in memory
has paled, diminished
by far fiercer lights.
__________

the young lions roaring for their prey: Psalm 104.

the Seraphic Father: St. Francis. The quote is from his “Canticle to the Sun.”

the words of a favorite verse: I.e., Isaiah 11:6. See Reader (9).

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