Asinus the Little Easter Donkey
Now this was the time of the Romans,
Who ravaged and plundered the land,
Whose empire widened from north to south
With a heavy and grid-iron hand.
Old Caesar demanded his taxes,
But the farmer was slow in his pay,
So Rome claimed the donkey as tribute dues,
And took the beast far, far away.
Asinus wept so for his mother,
Who likely was press-ganged as well,
And bought by a butcher’s or tanner’s trade
To lock in a quick, easy sell.
Asinus was sold into bondage:
A new beast of burden for Rome,
Who journeyed and landed in Nazareth
To stop by a carpenter’s home.
Asinus was tired and thirsty,
So the carpenter quick as a wink,
Took a bucket of water that He had drawn,
And offered the beast a cool drink.
The donkey was modestly grateful,
So the carpenter sported a grin,
That lifted Asinus’ spirits high,
Who was prompted to smile back at Him.
Asinus moved on to new places
While bearing the brunt of most men . . .
Through good times and bad times he carried on
Until he could no longer stand.
The Romans abused poor Asinus,
And made him pull more than his own,
Which caused him to stagger and soon collapse,
Thus wearing him thin to the bone.
JON RIPLEY O’BRIEN
Editors’s note: This is the second part of a six-part narrative poem to be published each Tuesday in the Sentinel. There is one section for each week of the six-week Lenten (Easter) season.
Quiet as the falling snow
The woods now covered in a white blanket
Silence, only the ringing in my ears
I snowshoe through the woods.
Footprints of a deer I follow a ways
Then a bigger print, four toes and claws
Crows cackle, chickadees chirp
I add my prints along a hilly trail.
I reach the loggers road
And join the steps of others before me
Just one or two since the most recent snowfall
Messing up the cross-country skier’s trail
I reach the fields, a rolling glaze of snow
There’s a familiar path the snowshoers cut before
Through one field and into the other
I think about the sledding hill rising above the third field
Crossing, I wonder if I’ll backtrack or cut through on my return
There must be an animal track or a snowshoer shortcut
And then, the track of an ATV that cut a path down a hill
My return route is just ahead.
Pause and reflect
The hills to the west with maples and coniferous trees
The undulation along the gray skies
The quiet solitude of winter
Back up the hill to field one
And into the woods for my return home
I remember days maybe 10 or 15 years ago
Racing back to get to work, almost on time.
No longer that 55 year old,
Racing is not the pace I can take
I choose to cut a path more cleanly for the next shoeshoer
Maybe me another day.