Asinus the Little Easter Donkey

Part II

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

Keene

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.

Winter 2021

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.

JAY KAHN

Keene