Lynne Goldsmith

Head Rearrangement
Animal Rights Poetry By Lynne Goldsmith
An Animal Rights Poem from

Poems of compassion dedicated to the non-human animals who share this planet with us and the people who fight for them.

Head Rearrangement
By Lynne Goldsmith

What made me think
that a mounted head on a wall was okay?
Above the fireplace, remnants of a moose
jut out as if the partial animal belongs there,
its foam-stitched skull screwed together,
glass eyes touched with clay
staring interminably without body, some
tanned, twisted presentation of death, vestige
constructed by taxidermist
as if
stuffed, wild creature seeming to break through wall
at forever-at-peace pace to remind—remind us of what?—
that you, its hunter, killed the animal with a gun?—
How you didn’t miss in your shots?
That you scared and delivered pain several times
till the animal lay dead in a blood-spilled no escape?
Maybe someday your own human head
will hang in a home of another alien species,
the trophy of you signifying that your attacker
got you—shot you right in the back—
another easy slaying preserved for all to view—
one more human who didn’t see it coming—
clueless you—foraging prey.
You’d proclaim you didn’t deserve it—
yet you’d have no voice to call out
to question such an ill-begotten fate.
Your death to silence
would be way beyond your control.

Poem originally published in Nebo: A Literary Journal, 2019

Moose head
Image from

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