A lion surprised us one night
and wildly and madly we rushed after it
thrashing sons and cousins
fathers and uncles
men and women
of all sizes
eager to keep the ultimate prize for ourselves.
After the kill,
our hunger satiated,
we told the story
of that thrashing and maiming
through the dark night
the heroic acts.
Nobody ever noticed how
the innocent killed on the way were never mentioned in our story.
Nobody carried their bodies back; gave them a proper burial;
praised their lives, their ultimate sacrifice.
When someone asked about the missing, we promptly dishonored all who died:
found faults in their steps
blamed them for their fall
reminded everyone how hunger for power kills those who think they can kill a lion.
Only the brave can have such dreams.
Foolish are those who live with illusions of grandeur.
They deserve what they get, we said, with conviction.
If we felt any shame, we drowned it with libations.
If anybody complained, they too became the power-hungry and the fools.