Today's poem is by Karen Glenn


This morning early, I followed
the rural roads deep into Nevada,
rolling and curving through the tiny towns
until I found the place I'd read about

where some sheep have human livers,
others human blood, and just one,
a human heart. It was in your newspaper, too,
I bet, not some H.G. Wells nightmare,

filled with beasts that groan and speak,
but a lab farm, scoured and neat,
shining with aluminum and chemicals,
a place where a liver grown

inside a sheep is not a horror, but a hope
for folks who need one. At first
it was a disappointment. In the lab and
in the field, the sheep crowded together,

baaing—looking, acting just like sheep—
nothing distinguishing about them.
But then the one with the human heart
followed the scientist who'd made him

with his eyes, watched the tracks
her small feet made across
the lab's damp floor. He stood stock still
in the stall when she touched him

with her cold instruments, then nuzzled
her soft hands. Even I could feel it.
It's something we all know—
how the heart keeps wanting, wanting

the unnameable, the impossible, yearning in the dark,
like a sheep at night in a cold barn.

Copyright © 2012 Karen Glenn All rights reserved
from Night Shift
Raven & Crow Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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