The Wild Red Cry

“…when you hear out of the same twilight the wildest red outcry.” from You are Standing at the Edge of the Woods by Mary Oliver 

While the darkness is a friend,
there are times when it harbors things I do not trust.
The wild red cry is not a stranger
to the ears but it is the harbinger of death 
and of whom we do not know.

In the darkness,
we are blind to the habits of the wild,
yet they are always there.
We are blind to the story
that unfolds without the light of day.
So, we extrapolate from what we know
into what we do not and believe that it is the truth.

There is a finality in that scream.
Is it yours? Or is it ours?
Humanity is estranged from the woods
and has been for millennia.
We do not know where the wild red cry originated,
but we have come to know it,
to savor the taste of the blood that it embodies.
It appears that we cannot get enough
and like the predator in the dark of night,
we hunt for it in the differences between us.

Once, there were animals to be feared
Whether by day or night,
but now humans top that list.
No wonder the other animals shun us, fear us.
No wonder the world is slowly dying.
We are standing at the edge of the woods
wondering when the wild red cry 
will be heard again, not if, but when,
and whose cry will it be?

—Paul Causey

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