the goat

I had a conversation with a goat.
She was tied up, alone, in a field.
Full up with grass, wet
with rain, she was bleating.

That monotonous bleat was brother
to my own pain. And I replied in kind, at first
in jest, and then because pain is eternal
and speaks with one voice, unchanging.
This was the voice I heard
wailing in a lonely goat.

In a goat with a Semitic face
I heard the cry of every woe on earth,
every life on earth…

Umberto Saba