The Ewe Lamb

by Frannie Lindsay
          —2 Samuel 12:3
I raised my one ewe lamb
as a daughter, fed her
red clover, the last hearts
of my cabbage, offered
her inky lips my cup.
She rested her chin
on my neck at night, her hoofs
on my cloak, her breathing
the wind on the waves
of sleep’s pure waters.
Sleep: an animal’s word
for bless: hoof of her heart
to the hoof of my heart.
The dusk before her slaughter
we walked together, pauper
and kin, over the meadow.
I sang to her, then
I unstrung the rusted bell
from her collar.


Frannie Lindsay's two volumes of poetry are Lamb (Perugia, 2006), and Where She Always Was (Utah State University Press, 2004). She is the winner of the 2008 Missouri Review prize in poetry. This poem originally appeared in the Spring 2006 issue of the Bulletin.

Please follow our Commentary Guidelines when engaging in discussion on this site.