Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Body Double

Again this morning the ram
matches me step for step downhill.
I wish he’d go ahead,
him and his lanolin smell, his sharp feet.
The pasture here is steep, so overgrown
I think I’ll fall.
Go ahead, I say, swinging the bucket forward.
A dog would.
A ram will not.
His hoarse breath adheres to my hand,
his head low, impatient, warning.

When I do fall, snagged by a vine,
it’s not the worst thing.
And who will say I am ridiculous? Only
not sure-footed. Old friend,
you have to admit
I keep your muzzle out of the bucket.
And when I get up
we walk the rest of the way together,
your stout ram body jostling mine.  end

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