Animal Hearts by Elisabeth Horan

It takes the heart of an animal to testify
the heart of a human, dies and must go away
it buries down in the October litter; it accepts
that no one believes it's story; animal hearts
only know survival, they are attacked again
and again, yet continue the fall harvest; they
continue the rearing of pups, kits and hatchlings
someone must feed them, protect them & warn
them of the predators --- the testosterone storms
the wild and laughing fraternity brothers... who
come and eat the youth from mothers, who come
and stake flags on the bodies of our sisters...
who do not believe in testimony born of such brave
women. It takes the heart of an animal to survive
the cruelest winter. To survive the freezing temperature
dips of one's personal isolation.  Until they find
warmth in other maternal dens. In the animal hearts ---
of other women; in fellow survivors, in female friends.