Sheep Polka

Sheep Polka

It’s not because I dance with liquor that I do—

I’d wear my boots regulation Montana length

but I’m eccentric, I like the sheep, I do.


By law we wear our boots a certain length

because it’s known of men, these parts, they like

the sheep too much; loneliness corrupts our sense,


if not booze. According to some poet we make monsters

in this way, then store them in a jar. What’s

the real story? It’s us. We’re the monsters,


though I don’t know how: nothing has touched

you in a long, long time; an innocent animal goes bleating

right by. Your parts move like something rusted


underneath a pile of leaves. The unspeakable bleating

continues and the anger inside—empty, unrequited

—drives you home in only one direction. Screaming,


not bleating, she lunges free after you are done,

and you don’t ask, whatcha doing on the plains alone?

it doesn’t matter. Could be a ewe, a woman, either one


and its not because I dance with liquor that I do—

I wear my boots past the set Montana length

I’m eccentric, I prefer the sheep, I do.

– Bronwyn Mills, from Night of the Luna Moths