Above our field of stunted corn and thistle,
a lone chimango circles, scouts, homes in
as sure and swift and savage as a missile,
pins down a leveret, rips away its skin,
ignores the terror-stricken eyes, the squeal,
devours the pulsing heart. His thirst now slaked,
he leaves the rest for a carancho’s meal.
The land is quivering, crumbling, cracked and caked,
the stream a silent checkerboard of mud,
the well near dry. I pray this lack of water
won’t leave me stony at the sight of blood,
of rational, inexorable slaughter.
(Saladillo, Argentina, 2009)