By Sighle Meehan
Long before the goats there was a shadow,
a breath, yes in the beginning a breath
sifted light from dark, washed the dust
with rain, drew a sun in a big round sky.
Before the ballerina hooves, in the wildhood
of the goats, there were rivers,
rock and forest, where birds – did I not say birds?
and beasts, yes beasts had places
to call home.
Before the goats wore collars there was
a plan, a fertile blueprint, before
the bells on collars, brands on hides,
before a mutant breath
blew masters, whips and fences
there were fish and many coloured seas,
dawn, untrammelled day,
there were evenings, evening prayers
and mountain goats and mountains
tucking in for sleep.