Une vie en moins

For earthweal.

Une vie en moins

Et encore une vie ôtée, sa grâce brisée.
Je ne verrai plus sa forme gracieuse, long-patte,
couleur de feuilles en automne.
Elle ne tournera plus sa tête si fine
ses yeux de biche, me dire, je te vois.
Je ne verrai pas ses petits grandir,
gambader dans le pré,
parce qu’on a ôté la vie de la beauté
avec ses grosses mains de rustre,
avec le laideur de son cœur.

One life less

Another life taken, grace broken,
and I’ll see no more that graceful silhouette,
long-legs, colour of autumn leaves.
No more she’ll turn her head, so fine,
doe-eyed, to say, I see you.
I’ll not see her young ones grow,
chase about the meadow,
for you’ve taken the life of beauty
with your heavy brutish hands,
with the ugliness of your heart.

Because all life is here, in this small place, this moment of small tragedy.
All of human grossness is in the act of a boor, in the unthinking act that destroys a life.
That act, finger on the trigger, echoes again and again the world over, in the mines and factories, the safaris, cruise ships, circuses and zoos, the forests maimed, oceans defiled, the caged and miserable.
The common factor, the finger on the trigger, human, greedy, selfish.
I curl up around my universal hurt and keen in silence, seeing no remedy.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

23 thoughts on “Une vie en moins”

  1. The poem is depressingly beautiful! Perhaps I am a perpetual optimist, and I agree humans can be absolutely horrible, but I also believe there are so many acts of kindness, of love and generosity which we never see or witness, because – it’s just not “good” news.

    1. I know what you mean, and I wish I could see it like that. Unfortunately I see the ‘good’ actions not changing anything except for the individuals on the receiving end. The selfish, careless, indifference of the majority of the population is what weighs far heavier in the balance as far as our common future is concerned.

  2. Who knew the fin-de-siècle was just the prelude to … this. Immensely sad but I can’t in my heart dispute this. The crown of creation will probably take out 98 percent of the rest refusing to budge. Hopefully no more.

    1. It gets me so depressed. A handful of men with guns decide that the rest of us aren’t going to have the innocent pleasure of seeing wildlife, because it’s their pleasure to destroy it that takes precedence.

  3. petty, greedy, selfish men and women, and then the apathetic that can’t be bothered. and in their – our – wake, so much beauty wasted. “I see you”, no more. Would that those who commit such acts feel shame. but we know they don’t ~

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