All the Goats | Leslie McGrath

Sometime before midnight all the goats
sent away by those who wanted to distance themselves 
from their sins and were lucky enough to have a goat
were roused from the rocky fields where they’d been sleeping 
(in shame, thought the families, though they were wrong)
and were led back to town by a child that wore 
a thin strip of cloth threaded through 
the shank of a brass bell. The goats followed its song 
through dark and stinking alleys back to the pens 
and tired barns with roofs like saddles--
places where they’d known care. The child lay with them there
in one hay-padded place or another until daylight
then beckoned them back to the fields. Thus the families
continued to believe their distance from sin was intact
and that they were cleansed. And the goats said nothing.

Comment ( 1 )

  1. ReplyWayne Brown
    I love it, Leslie McGrath. Great allusions.

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