by Jory Mickelson

I love their indelicate folds—
wool among last year’s brown
Canada thistle, the field’s

unshorn crown. Ragged,
sheep bogged in February’s deluge.
Yet emerging for Leap Day’s arc—
lambs all scatter and kick

part the course grass as a child
splits the curtains to catch
sight of their audience. Mud

in abundance spatters every
coat. These low and lively clouds
fill the world with their scuttle,
their mothers count the hours

ruminating, their kids
mumbling their pink rosary
of teats like prayer.


Jory Mickelson is a queer writer whose work has appeared in The Rumpus, Ninth Letter, Vinyl Poetry, The Florida Review, Superstition Review, The Collagist, The Los Angeles Review, and other journals. He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poet’s Prize and is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry. His most recent chapbook Slow Depth was published by Argus House Press. You can follow him at www.jorymickelson.com


Photo: “Anaphalis margaritacea at Orcas Island” by Ciara