The Shepherds’ Watch

The sky looms dark–and deeply dark

as here beneath we sit–

blots of shadow wrapped in night

and only lighting when we rise

and walk to see the flame.

The sheep will go where I will go

and follow comically,

brushing up against my leg,

trusting that I know the way

to lead them to the flame.

The fire’s bright and dances bright

a thousand colored strands

that twine their twist in colored light

like ancient tales told long ago:

a coming holy flame.

Starred by eyes, as stars I seek

through peels of whispish cloud

that hide the dots of fire sparks

and shroud the black and bleating night;

all shadow but our flame.

The shepherds speak as shepherds speak

of hardships, home, and hopes

and sometimes we philosophize

our longing by the fire’s side

as nightly burns our flame

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