The Least of These My Brothers


Surely they would lock me away
if I told you that just yesterday
I took a 2×4 and hit a man over the head
because he was sitting on the floor by my bed.

If I mentioned that when the 2×4 didn’t work,
I smothered him in a sheet and beat him to a pulp?
You would think I’d gone insane!

What if I told you I spent hours watching
two children playing in the marsh,
swimming in the water,
before I shot them dead, tied them with rope
and hung them around my neck like jewelry.
Would you call that fashion?

If I took your best friend,
stuffed her in a garbage bag,
then tossed her out the car window
while we raced down the street, would you mind?
Or would we stop for drinks on the way home?

When Matthew wrote
as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me,
did he just mean human brothers? or all the King’s kin?

Words ©2014, Jen Payne
Image: The Animal Kingdom, Konstantin Yuon, 1908

4 thoughts on “The Least of These My Brothers

    1. Just a reflection on the violences we commit against animals without second thought, and how in many cases it is acceptable behavior…in some cases, even something to brag about.


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