Heidi StephensonAnd we woke up
Animal Rights Poetry By Heidi Stephenson From All-Creatures.org

Poems of compassion dedicated to the non-human animals who share this planet with us and the people who fight for them.

And we woke up
By Heidi Stephenson

And we buried our grandmothers.
And we cremated our fathers.
And we said our virtual goodbyes,
to mothers, friends, sisters.

And our hearts burst.
And our thoughts fell
on all those dying
on the floors of slaughterhouses.

And we prayed for our brothers.
And we sent desperate healing
to the suffocating children,
to the convulsing doctors...

And we remembered
those gasping for breath
through the gushing,
of their own, young blood.

And we remembered
those being tortured
in our cutting-edge laboratories,
the agonies of the sacrificed...

Impaled, burned, poisoned
for the ‘cures’ and hopes of Man.
And we knew a little of their pain.
And we woke up.

And we knew what it meant
to ‘climb walls,’
to go out of our minds,
never to see daylight.

And we knew what it meant
to lose our God-given freedom,
never to feel the sunshine on our backs,
the grass beneath our feet.

And we remembered
all our brothers and sisters,
inside our dark ‘factory’ farms,
the life-long prisoners, denied trial.

And we imagined the horror
of awaiting electrocution,
of watching others skinned alive,
of having the coats ripped off our backs.

And our thoughts travelled
to the war-torn zoos,
to the long-abandoned cages,
to our fellow beings confined...

To the blinking corpses,
to their silent screaming,
to the slow starvation,
among the bombs.

And we knew.

And we woke up.

©Heidi Stephenson, March 2020

Peaceable Kingdom
Fritz Eichenberg’s Woodcut,
The Peaceable Kingdom – Isaiah 11:6-8


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