Margaret Atwood

The animals in that country

In that country the animals have the faces of people: the ceremonial cats possessing the streets the fox run politely to earth, the huntsmen standing around him, fixed in their tapestry of manners the bull, embroidered with blood and given an elegant death, trumpets, his name stamped on him, heraldic brand because (when he rolled on the sand, sword in his heart, the teeth in his blue mouth were human) he is really a man even the wolves, holding resonant conversations in their forests thickened with legend. In this country the animals have the faces of animals. Their eyes flash once in car headlights and are gone. Their deaths are not elegant. They have the faces of no-one.

from Selected Poems 1965-1975
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