A Day When No Dogs Die
The red god–not Mars, not the blood-shedding warrior–
but the red god of rust, the dark side of iron,
the blight upon the fields, is propitiated today
to drive away all ills with the death of red dogs.
But red hounds are no longer plentiful,
disposable, the fodder for good fodder,
the sacrifice that is not a strain,
a thoughtless offering to gods beyond thought.
Robigo and Robigus, red dogs amongst red gods,
hear our prayers today, when iron and rust
are the work of agriculture rather than hands:
protect the beloved hounds of all people.