The Ox

by Thomas Banks (June 2021)


Cart with Black Ox, Vincent van Gogh, 1884


You will not in my history
Find out a tale of gladness;
The yoke, the plough, the goad: here see
The sources of my sadness.

A slave of herdsmen day to day,
As were my sire and mother,
Who died and payed, as I shall pay,
With blood some god or other.

But I remember one cold night
When three men did reward me
With kingly gifts, fragrant and bright,
While they with prayers adored me.


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Thomas Banks has taught literature and Latin for many years in Idaho, Montana, and North Carolina, where he currently lives. Other writings of his have appeared in First Things and the St. Austin Review.

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