Hyperpastoral, or Shepherd’s Pie

Matty Layne Glasgow

When you enter a room out of need, they are all
the same: the field an antechamber, the kitchen
a narrow sky where you peel the carrots in long,
thoughtful strokes—stem to taproot—just as you

towel the wet shine from an empty leather sling,
or slide your neck down the clawfoot tub’s cold
rim as moonlight bleats above the tepid water
and sheep roam in the living room. Forgotten:

the one who tends them. Still, the vegetables must
be cut, then softened with heat like pliant muscle
or loose skin. The water, too, must be bled. He is

gone, the meadow empty. Still, you kneel for Him,
mouth full. Is this not devotion, how you summon
his face from lack, and all the ways you serve him?