"Ghazal of the Goats"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Aug. 2 2011 10:28 AM

"Ghazal of the Goats"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Teresa Cader read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

Not the lyric song of shepherds, my love

Bleats ungodly tunes in private. My unlovely

Irish tongue, Polish doom, a marriage made

For goats to butt heads by day, by night, love.

Goat Man Ches McCartney wed a Spanish

knife-thrower, his near-miss lethal lover.

In my act, you don't flinch, duck, scrape, or bow.

It appears you're an idiot for love.

Ches took to the road with a herd of goats,

A two-legged one who hopped—now that's love.

Dressed in goat skins, Crusoe and the Good Book

In tow, he preached smelly riffs on God's love.

I preach, too, you say: Once would be enough.

Finnegan wakes in my blood. My love,

Thor's chariot was pulled by two Norse goats

He ate each night. He saved the bones, by love

Restored them whole each day. As I do you.

means harvest, my love.


Teresa Cader is the author of Guests, The Paper Wasp, and History of Hurricanes (2009). She teaches poetry in the low-residency MFA program at Lesley University.



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