The Heedless Shepherd

Grief is a family going down one by one 

Wild buffalo tread on thin medallions 

It’s a sin to be born poor

It’s treason to stay that way

On the way to work at Fort Hood

Shepherd fell in love with a cherry 

Mother wore a red gingham apron 

While plating macaroni on the base

At home her daughter sat under an eye

That lost her in a blind spot 

Back then work had a weight you could feel it

After the war the father got a son

Quilts are folded like flags in the cupboard 

The morning shepherd left 

We drained a pitcher of cheap wine 

Our ancestors had robbed and been robbed 

And now everything was a mess

Copyright © 2022 by Monica McClure. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 2, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.