artwork by Amy Alexander

A Letter to the Animal Killed this Morning on Route 113, Thetford Ctr. VT by Elisabeth Horan

(Please rotate your handheld device to landscape mode to provide maximum width for each line.)

They say God says that everything happens for a reason so I write you to say – I cannot hold this
– I cannot witness so much. The unnecessariness of all this basket weaving from animal parts –
the uncanny way children torture small things; the adults laughing over beers. Smoking. Pissing
on ants. I feel too much — I know. I know I’m wired different. Or are their wires crossed to
watch cats torture small rodents and sense nothing in the cortex. No empathy zipping through the
rods and cones to a database which sparks a feeling: Help. Help little things get home. I see the
small things with legs gone and they are my legs – I see your heart pumping, abandoned on the
pavement and I put you in my bag, for lack of a better plan. I take you home and wash you. Sleep
with you, bury you like a miscarriage with my placenta in the backyard. I recant — I guess I can
hold it all – the hearts, the bones, the skin – as well your hands, with their tender, blackened pads.
But I cannot hold the pelts — the stack of pelts which have been stacked up to God’s empty
heaven,                       then                    back                        to                         ground                      again.

Elisabeth Horan is an imperfect creature from Vermont advocating for animals, children, and those suffering alone and in pain – especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness. She has work at up at Barren Magazine, Moonchild Magazine, and Elephants Never. Elisabeth is honored to serve as Poetry Editor at Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine. She recently earned her MFA from Lindenwood University and received a 2018 Best of the Net Nomination from Midnight Lane Boutique. Follow her: @ehoranpoet &

Lead image: “They Say God Says” (artwork by Amy Alexander)

1 thought on “A Letter to the Animal Killed this Morning on Route 113, Thetford Ctr. VT by Elisabeth Horan

  1. So tender, Liz; a raw testament to life’s indefensible misery and loss. Your beautiful spirit shines through your words and your everlasting compassion. I am so happy to be coming to St. Louis next month to celebrate your MFA graduation. Much, much love. Auntie Sal

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