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. www.marcicalabretta.com.