The Shepherd's Complaint to St. Francis
Hey, it’s me, way over here near the fence.
Who says you're such a mighty holy man
you can just ride up and take my cave
without asking or explaining?
Oh, you were called? If you were called,
go to church. That's the place for the called.
Sure I'm glaring at you. This is my special place.
I waited fifteen years to get this pasture
for my own and now you've ruined it for me.
I like being alone but since you came up here
it’s like my mother’s telling me not to slouch.
I used to go in that cave at noon
to eat my lunch. Sometimes the rabbit
hopped in, ate my crumbs and radish tops.
I used to see all the sheep from there.
Now you've blocked a clear view
with an arbor and your goddamn desk.
Oh, you like being out in nature with animals?
Well, try that when February’s blowing sleet
and the animals are frightened yearling ewes
giving birth in a lean-to at midnight
and you're standing ankle-deep in blood and shit
with candle wax burning your frost-cracked hands
… and you're praying you can save the lambs.
Faith Kaltenbach grew up in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, attended the George School and Bennington College, worked in horticulture, publishing and photography. Semi-retirement and warm associations with other poets in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area has led to a renewal of interest in poetry writing.
The Ekphrastic Review
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