Donkey's Tale
by James Keller


Fur eats feather, feather eats fur,
the air is full of dying cries,
there it is, the law of nature,
fluffy insatiable baby beaks
wide open to be fed and soon
feathered predators themselves,
so it goes in this relentless
cycle of birth and death.

Thus it is with a donkey's life
suckled at first, loved by children
but all too soon sentenced to life
with hard labor for no crime at all,
we watch its story unfold on
screen but this furry fable
does nto feed its humble hero
lumps of sugar but salt.

There are flowers, flowers crown fur,
a girl invokes unknowingly
another donkey crowned with blooms,
furry funny metamorphosis
reversed in a moonless garden
when Satan touches Eve's hand
having spied her from the church choir,
now gifts a death to birth.

The donkey is not trained to act
but must perform in the circus
as did that wooden puppet-boy
transformed into a donkey too
to jump through hoops and do tricks
before he becomes a real boy
but fur stays fur and dies

up there on the screen safe at last
surrounded by grazing sheep,
his name was Balthazar,
his story told by Robert Bresson.