Getting It Right

by Andrew Najberg


Let’s look at it this way:
we are shepherds on the hillside.
Maybe we are at leisure with our crooks
rested at our feet, and finger perhaps a flute
or a scrap of paper, forgetting the sounds
of cities, pumping engines, chains clanking,
crane hydraulics extending wrought hooks.
We don’t remember the color of sirens
or the sound of police lights, and attempts
to recall bring more clover on the wind,
succulents flowering on the hillside just up
the path from the well. Soon, it will be time
to lower the bucket, to think towards
tending the fire. While the sheep stir
in the pen, we’ll stir the coals with iron.
In a timid kindling glow, a lamb crying softly
through one window, one of us will look
to the other and say, We’ve been going
about this gig all wrong. If we castrate a rat,
and tie a bell around its neck, sheep will follow it.


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