The Martyr of Wheeler Peak

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as you set the first stones upon the bones in Wiltshire
and you showed the horse to the wheel
when the last mammoth fell on Wrangel Island
we were here in this glacial field

your branches are short, you depend upon your stories
in our twisted flesh, ours are carved down to the core
if you think you’ve seen misfortune in your fleeting life
take a look at 500 more

So strange, you set your food on fire
and wear the skin
and how you love, and how you trust
the endless words you speak
but you’ll pass on a fading memory
of the martyr of Wheeler peak

You turn hand against hand and yet you stand together
Long beyond your roots in the garden, and the fall
most every creature is born to calls of warning,
calls to breed, and separation calls

right here, with your jagged teeth of steel
you cut him down
to find what you believe a prize
we wonder why you seek
it slips away, and he was born again
as the martyr of Wheeler Peak