Skip to content →

The Animal Too Big to Kill

Lord I have eaten and I think I won’t

anymore eat  / Animals

many times my weight / In animals

enough that were they resurrected and combined

Like the heroic robot  in that cartoon I somehow always missed

And always looked  forward to as a child

Lord they would be an animal / Finally too big to kill

Except by You who would

Shatter the sky and hurl the burning blue whale-sized shards down to do it

Lord even though You wouldn’t have to break the sky to do it

And I accept I need to be reminded

I can’t escape responsibility

for being the kind of creature that requires signs Lord from You

Merely by now refusing to participate

in the killing of some of the sometimes instruments through which Your signs / Pass

as they pass through every creature  Lord and every object You I know

Killing the animal too big to kill would be a sign

And I accept I can’t escape being grateful for Your signs

Being the kind of creature

that requires Your signs  / Because You Lord have made me wondrous

Beginning with my always I imagine it to be

an ugly mush but really it’s

I think I’ve read  / Harder than that

brain and the thinking it might someday do

Because Lord I might someday think

Until that day and after  I require signs / Lord and I can’t escape

being grateful for Your signs

Because my body not my brain responds to them  and You I know

Killing the animal too big to kill would be a sign

Lord as I took it for a sign

When fifteen years ago I prayed to be convinced

and drove to the monastery in Mount Angel and

Two tall firs

across from each other on either side of the narrow road to the monastery

Were struck by lightning

rare Oregon lightning on a barely misting afternoon

And fell across the road and Lord I couldn’t leave

I took it for a sign  and I believed

And that was when  the moment when  I understand the language now

The moment I was born again

The moment I believed I

Had seen God kill for me

Lord was the moment I became a human being

As You I know

killing the animal too big to kill would be a sign

from The Animal Too Big To KillFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2016
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Poems Shane McCrae

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

css.php