shepherd tending flock of sheep at night


And there were shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luke 2:8

To them Orion was not a huntsman
but a shepherd of the lambent.

Safe from Leo, Lupus, Taurus
his charges followed him to dawn,

counted and content
to know they would persist

when daylight
rendered them no longer visible.

Not souls—not yet—they were signifiers
ready to be metaphors.

by John Barr

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