Most Famous Sheep in the World 


                   for Shrek, who escaped shearing for six years


They called you renegade & rock-dweller—

innocuous cloven-hooved creature,

ghost against surveillance & shears,

elusive ram from whose sides

sprouted six years & twenty suits

of merino wool—never

pausing to ponder how, after

the thickness of caves & dark

oiled in lanolin, when the heavy mantle

was shorn from your shoulders,

the sun must have blinded & refracted

against your pale, lamb-like body

cleansed by shrubbery & blade.


Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh, 2016), winner of the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Poetry Prize and 2016 Florida Book Award bronze medal. She has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman, the Knight Foundation, and the American Literary Translators Association, and her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Best Small Fictions, The New York Times, and elsewhere.