Joanna Chen | Bedouin Pastoral

I’m thinking of the Bedouin shepherd near our house

with his fierce dogs and his Kansas City baseball cap pulled down

over his eyes.   He’s maybe fourteen and knows how to whistle


so low that only the sheep,  grazing on fennel  shoots

and hyssop,  raise their heads to listen.  Last week I stood

on the stony path that runs between the two


sides of the forest, trapped by his dogs,

and I wondered  whether he could hear me

yelling  and where on earth he got that cap from.



Joanna Chen

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