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 newest collection of poems, Lamb, has been selected as the winner of Perugia Press’s Intro Award. The book will be released in September 2006. Her first book, Where She Always Was, was selected as the 2004 recipient of the May Swenson Award.

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