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I’m wondering
what it would be like
to be one of these shepherds
out in some field at night,
with a flock of sheep
in the dark
where all there is
is a rustle of wool
and bleating--
I’m wondering why
sheep don’t sleep
in this dream;
the other shepherds
are out cold,
the fire has dwindled
to coals
and I’m up
in a tight spiral
of insomnia,
too tired to get up
and toss another log
on the fire,
not really tending
to the flock at all--
these four-legged alarm clocks,
who rather than blissfully
jumping by one-by-one,
carrying me off
into the land of serene sleep,
woke me in the first place.

I realize
I’m tired of being a shepherd
where there is no quitting time,
the clothes are coarse wool,
sandals of dried leather
that bring out a blister
every spring.

the author of my dream writes--
there is a host of heaven--
a cacophony of shooting stars,
I imagine,
with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
singing in the background,
bright lights in my blood-shot eyes,
and somewhere overhead a virtuoso trumpeter
is playing reveille,
annunciating an awakening
of other proportions.

I’m wide-eyed,
shaking from the core
more than the cold turn of night--
all I can remember is that
waterfall voice rumbling
"Do not be afraid,"
like standing on a fault line
in another dream
with the ground--
the very ground--
having faith that this earth
still holds me
in the palm of its hand.

12 Mar 04
Cf. Luke 2:8-14

© Copyright 2004, E. Granger-Happ, All Rights Reserved.

Contents - Lent, 2004

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