TWO TOUCHED BY FATE

The shrike, that lively bird, celebrated
because it hunts the grasshopper
chewing away on the delicate rose leaf,
and catching more than it can eat at once,
impales the bounty on the nearest thorn
for its next visit, or for its ladylove
nesting nearby, to come and mercifully
put a quick end to that ungraceful squirming,
never consulting the impatient grasshopper
as to its Hobbes’s choice, to be eaten now or later,
or whether ‘tis better on the thorn to suffer
its outrageous fortune, or to be gobbled up
at once.  It has no voice or vote nor choice
in that which mightily concerns it.
And the shrike, too, might argue its compulsion
For, like the grasshopper, it can only prey.

From The Long Shadow of the Bush
By JK Burnham