Stephen Dunn

April 10, 2015 Dunn Stephen


 After Aesop


If the lion wants more
than his share, give it to him.
At least try, for Christ’s sake,
to strike a deal.
Forget your zealous politics.

Don’t be the ass, and want
to divide things equally
when equal you’re not.
You’ll be visited in broad daylight.
The jungle has its government.

The fox understands. After the lion
kills the ass for being an ass,
that is, for not knowing the limitations
of being clawless and without a plan,
the fox gives the lion a lion’s share.

What’s fair is for goose and gander,
for those capable of love, and even then,
even then… life being what it is
the rest of us spend most of it
dreaming of revenge.

Stephen Dunn’s most recent book is Whereas. He is the recipient of many awards including the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Frostburg, Maryland, with his wife Barbara Hurd.