If I were a shepherd

If I were a shepherd
I’d ask people to call me Shep.
I’d give all the lambs nicknames too,
things like Bud, Dot Cotton and Woolf.
In December I would paint my crook
with red and white stripes
and wear a tea towel on my head, the one
that made me cry during the ‘92 Nativity.
I’d wander the planet and hunt down the sheep
you scared away in Wales to explain it was an accident.
It’s sad thinking that sheep’s likely dead now too.
So I don’t think that.
I think about it hopping across the damp grass
dodging your clumsy swear word bullets
and giggling as your face hits the mud,
grateful for the chance to grow and be free.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

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