Green Hills Literary Lantern



On the Road to Julius' Sheep Camp


The earth turns red,

clouds percolate, and crows scatter,

chunks of meat dangling from their mouths.

They fly over tumbleweeds and salt cedar,

from Nenahnezad to Burnham,

searching for wishbones and gracenotes.


Snaking through the desert brush

and dry creekbeds, yellow helmeted workers

blast and check iron claws that harvest coal.

Narrow ruts lead to Julius’ shack.

Rumbling ground scares sheep, and he

has left to search for his lost flock.


A skinny stray barks at my arrival because

I smell like the trespassers who have come

to drill and strip mine. He keeps his distance,

ribs showing.


A bloated cow lies on the side of the road,

hooves pointing to the sky.




Christy Ferrato is a poet, performer, and visual artist from Durango, Colorado. She holds degrees from the University of Denver, the University of Oregon, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. New poems appear in the Minnetonka Review, Illuminations, The RiverSedge, Perspectives, 580 Split, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Left Curve, Milk Money, Vocabula and The Cape Rock. She has received two Pushcart Prize nominations and a nomination for Best New Poets of 2010.