Current Issue Excerpts


Like a Lamb.

How to bury something so big and heavy and awkward?
but the daughter was inconsolable
we'll have to hire Johnson's digger
to open the end field and flop it in

a mock burial for a custom-made saddle
that cost one thousand pounds
a daughter's first death, a letting go

when it was time, they hid in the kitchen
the vet sedated it before the lethal injection
and it stood shakily, swaying from side to side
then lay down, its lung breath slow and deep
Gone already, he said

on its last days we had let it into the field of sheep
for company, for companionship
until it could shuffle out of the barn no longer
but lay down in the farthest corner

and this is the strange thing
three lambs let into the field that morning
were found lying by its side
their expressions almost human.

GARY ALLEN has published eighteen books of poetry, three novels, and a collection of short stories. His most recent poetry book is the long poem Sour Hill, by Greenwich Exchange Publishing, London.

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