The Shepherdess (a poem)





The Shepherdess

By Kateri David


Within and between the forlorn fields of Provence, you trek on

Made sullen by poverty, pale with plague

Onward you roam, with matted hair and callused feet

Cavernous are your cheeks, sunken with despair

Wells are your eyes, pools of untold sorrow

Which spill not upon the earthen path


O shepherdess, had you been born but another time

Your hair would be in braids, made soft as gossamer

Feet would have danced among marbled halls

Your entrancing eyes would have bewitched the heart of every man

But the fates are against you, the stars are not aligned


O shepherdess, I pity you

For death hath collected your father

Who fell weak with plague, that tantalizing jester

That harlequin who relishes in his ability to strike down the living

Before he passed, your father bestowed upon you his staff, wielder of the sheep

From thence, his burdens became your own

His despair, his rage, his torment

Was added to your all too heavy load


O shepherdess, surely you must know that your struggles will be in vain

That you will fall victim to the night as well

Nevertheless, as if to spite that demon

You continue to lead your herd to richer pasture

Front line of that steady militia

And though you bear no coat of arms

Though your name will be lost with you

You will have fought in valor, you will become a martyr

For no lives were taken but your own

Struggling relentlessly to bring your sheep to richer lands

And as the dark closes in you will savor victory at last

As you exchange your own life

For the countless members of your flock


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3 Responses to The Shepherdess (a poem)

  1. 2cupsofjoe says:

    Interesting, reading the poem shifted the perspective of shepherds only being male. Having this poem written, shows respect and admiration for those who would not say otherwise.

  2. brettfish says:

    you asked us to read a few posts and comment on your themes – what i have seen from the 4 i have read is that your gift and your playground seems to be the flow of words – maybe it is just one aspect of your blog and have one tab for it but maybe it is the entire blog – i would focus on flowing words whether poetry or run on prose – because you do that so well – if you need to comment on life or things or philosophy i would find another place to do so [maybe even an entirely separate blog?] but words flowing and telling stories and grabbing emotion seem to be what you are so good at…

    my thoughts
    love brett fish

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