Counting Sheep by Jane Frank

My son is worried we are eating lamb tonight.
No respect, he says.
It would be forbidden in Madagascar
where sheep are the incarnation of human souls.
Did I know they are like us?
They have best friends and eight percent are gay.
We should be getting them to trim our lawn
like Woodrow Wilson at the Whitehouse:
we would all save on fuel.
It’s the very least we could do, he says.
Sheep would make kind pets.
I mean, the Egyptians mummified sheep
and the Sumerians drew them on cuneiform.
They are mentioned 247 times in the Bible.
They were appreciated then.
We should be careful because sheep
will remember our cruelty:
their memories are almost as good as pigs,
in fact, not far behind crows.

Jane Frank

Jane Frank is a poet and academic based in Brisbane, Australia. She is the author of Milky Way of Words, published by Ginninderra Press, 2016. Her poems have appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, Westerly, Writ, London Grip, The Frogmore Papers, Nutshells and Nuggets, Northwords Now, Poets Republic, Eunoia Review and Yellow Chair Review, as well as forthcoming in Antipodes, Cordite Review and takehē.



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