The Scapegoat

Dwight Gray

The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place;
and the man shall release it in the wilderness.  (Leviticus 16:22)

We weighted the goat down
with our burdens and set it free.
The animal only invisible to us;
somewhere a people are watching

a strange beast appear over 
the horizon, its unnatural 
burden, needing to be fed
and too stubborn to die.

In a later version we learn
the goat, having no use for symbolism,
shakes off the load and wanders 
back to our homes, hungry.

The elders and the wealthy share bread together; 
there’s some inhuman sound,
a bleating that grows closer.
The men simply talk louder,
convince themselves it doesn’t exist.

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