Sheep give such a plaintive cry,
‘Tho it’s part of their guise,
Again, I respond with a sigh,
No wolves here as stealthy spies.
A shepherd must be discerning,
Conscious, alert, always aware,
Protective, paternal with senses burning,
For this calling—a herder’s affair.
The uncorrupted savage noble,
No societal constraints demanded,
Free to roam the land as global,
No role given, no conscription branded.
But alert—the human-wolf side,
The wilderness has its particular loves,
To snatch a beast where it does reside,
And, wear some fine sheepskin gloves.
Francis Conlon is a retired and recovering teacher. For the past 20 years, he has worked as a seasonal river ranger and boat inspector at Yampa River State Park in northwest Colorado. He has published in the local Valley Voice and in Westward Quarterly. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.