Devil’s Lake

Fall 2014 Issue

Winner of the Driftless Prize in Poetry Learn more >

Laura Romeyn: Lamb’s Discussion

Harvested for shearing aren’t we all with our cargo to offer,
taken from us sometimes by force, sometimes willingly.

I think of the morning I was outside the farm on top of the hill
when a lamb appeared beside me. She was mostly cream in color

with a smear of what looked like women’s gloss smoothed
throughout her nude where the fleece used to fasten,

and as she started to follow along beside me, her whole family
on the other side of the fence wondered what we were up to.

It dawned on me then that animals never take time off,
since grinding the green or dozing beside the fence are feats

which strike humans as relaxing, and perhaps it’s permitting
the shave that is something like taking time off for them—

welcoming the expected, bearing the blade for a moment
and then freedom, the way an accountant finally lays down

the phone, or a girl in the grocery takes off her apron,
washes her hands, and redoes her lips in the washroom mirror.

LAURA ROMEYN received her MFA in poetry from Columbia University, where she served as the 2013–2014 poetry editor of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. She is now the assistant poetry editor at upstreet and a press writer for Agora Gallery and the Puffin Cultural Forum. She was a finalist for the Fairy Tale Review Award in Poetry and Prose and a poem of hers is forthcoming in Crazyhorse. She lives in Brooklyn. More from this issue >