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Poems, Prayers, Promises

The last of our Spring 2024 lambs have left the farm. This photo, taken by the new shepherdess of Luca and Linus as their van pulled away, speaks to my heart as the lambs steal a last glance at the barn where they were born. I contemplated this image for awhile (with a misty eye), then scratched out this poem. It's been a few years since I’ve studied or penned trad poetry (my great love in college as an English Lit geek) but here’s what spilled out. Maybe a line or two will be meaningful to you.

Morning Glory

In the barn, with shadows creeping,

snug in jugs, the ewes are sleeping,

all but one who circles round.

To the eye, she seems to wander.

Lost in nature’s ways, I ponder

as she strives to settle down.

Slowly sinking into straw,

breathing quickens, and in awe

I fade into the shade of night.

Bide the time, my soul doth say,

this is time to watch and pray,

as God creates in hidden light.

Sovereign in maternal ways,

who am I to plainly gaze

on her labor and her strife?

I am merely handmaid here,

a silent witness to revere

the messy miracle of life.

Let her be as she was made,

I tell myself inside the shade

of board and batten stable walls.

She heaves a groan, my breath is drawn,

I know that now it won’t be long

before the birth of twins enthralls!

And so it is, they do appear,

one then the other, nose then ear,

and I emerge with sheepish grin.

How long have you been standing there?

she seems to say with pointed stare.

Ah! Since your labor did begin!

’Tis my vocation, old as time,

to shepherd you, a sheep of mine,

through plight and peril, far and nigh.

She makes a tender, throaty sound,

her newborn lambs then gather round,

as maiden hues light up the sky.

Morning glory, shining bright,

stands on legs so woolly white

and drinks her fill of gentle dam.

Created by the One who is,

I too, beloved sheep of His,

pause to remember who I am.

And in a blink, the lambs are grown,

the bond is firm, the love is sown

and other shepherds come to call.

I cannot keep them for myself,

nor tuck them neatly on a shelf,

yet in my heart I tuck them all.

The way of Light can’t be contained,

’tis only Light when unrestrained,

and spills into a darkness vast.

I give you lamb’s breath on your cheek,

I give you lambs with hearts so meek,

I give you more than you have asked.

I give to you our morning glory,

wrapped in wool and full of story

waiting to be written still.

Though I was there when they were born,

dear shepherdess, now they are your’n,

your heart to brighten — and to fill!

© 2024, Andie Andrews Eisenberg

Part of the joy of breeding and raising Valais Blacknose sheep is having the opportunity to share their incredibly sweet, silly, soulful, and social personality with others. While indeed, according to a much better poet than I, “parting is such sweet sorrow” — we do so love spreading the joy! Special thanks to all who have welcomed our spring lambs and adult ewes into their “farmily.”  We promise to be there for you as long as you have need of us. And, to the readers of this blog, we're here for you too, to help answer any questions you may have about this truly special breed and animal companion.

As they say here in Tennessee: we appreciate you. 💚

1 Comment

Jun 24

You captured the words in my heart. 💕

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