Sheep in the Winter Night

Inside the barn the sheep were standing, pushed close to one

another. Some were dozing, some had eyes wide open listening

in the dark. Some had no doubt heard of wolves. They looked

weary with all the burdens they had to carry, like being thought

of as stupid and cowardly, disliked by cowboys for the way they

eat grass about an inch into the dirt, the silly look they have

just after shearing, of being one of the symbols of the Christian

religion. In the darkness of the barn their woolly backs were

full of light gathered on summer pastures. Above them their

white breath was suspended, while far off in the pine woods,

night was deep in silence. The owl and rabbit were wondering,

along with the trees, if the air would soon fill with snowflakes,

but the power that moves through the world and makes our

hair stand on end was keeping the answer to itself

Sheep in the Winter Night” by Tom Hennen from Darkness Sticks to Everything. © Copper Canyon Press, 2013.