Tuesday Poem: ‘For Sheep’ by Therese Lloyd

For Sheep

I have to hold my fists loose
like I’m holding a telescope
and peer down the tunnel
of my hands
to the tiny crooked shape at the end
This is the only way I can tell ‘colour’
I have to really think about it and then
through the invisible cables that connect me
to my friend who lives far away
I say, yes, at this moment
the sea is blue

In your kitchen, through one window a row of mountains
and turning to look out the opposite window
sheep, paddock and forest beyond

This is where you live now and there is something
of the Rapunzel in it except that you can not be saved
because there’s nothing wrong

Until I visited you I had never fed a sheep from my hands before
That sheep with her crazy yellow eyes
glaring in ancestral suspicion
snuffled up my handful of biscuits
with her tiny child sized teeth
and as a reward, let me touch her dirty wool

The warmth from her mouth
and the nervy movement of her lips
merely effects produced by my pineal gland
perhaps, and the crusted dirt on her wool
may have been velvet or silk under someone else’s hand
This is what happens when we touch
a series of synaptic transmissions that produce
action/s and emotion/s
We construct our worlds in this way
make them up continuously, piece by piece
putting them together to suit our needs
And now after all this time
we say, yes, we have developed
excellent imaginations

Therese Lloyd lives in Paekakariki with her husband, poet Lee Posna. Her first full length poetry book Other Animals is due out with VUP in March 2013.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: ‘For Sheep’ by Therese Lloyd

  1. Oh! I love this, the way it meanders from one moment to the next, to her faraway friend and the new experience of touching the sheep, and the warmth and tenderness and surprise and change she experiences. Really great details here. Wonderful poem, so soft and surprising.

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