The old lion left his pride and set out
through and beyond the night. It’s a hard life
on the high plains—it takes courage, strength
and endurance, a belief longer than the day
and a love as deep as the hunt is hot.
Yet, now readied, this last time he went,
not rustling the grass, not raising the dust,
not even stirring the air, lighter then light.
And while he should have ranted at that night,
chased after it, torn into it and bought it down,
he didn’t; instead, in the end it won him out
and he fell, going quiet and still at the last.
What a terrible silence that was and is, although,
later, under the sun, as we lowered him down,
I swear, if no one else could, I at least could hear him.
Jack Etheridge, my father, passed away recently. You may have recalled that last year, about this time, he experienced a heart attack…
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