Dark Devotional: Shepherds in the Suburbs

Art by the fluffy and sheepish Brian Jocks.

*****

 

If you want get to heaven
Over on the other shore
Stay out of the way of the blood-stained bandit.
Oh, good shepherd,
Feed my sheep.

One for Paul, One for Silas,
One for to make my heart rejoice
Can’t you hear my lambs a-callin’?
Oh, good shepherd.
Feed my sheep.

 

The Bible has a lot to say about shepherds, but I’ve never seen one.

What is a shepherd to me?

I’ve heard of sheep, I guess.
Sheep. Sheeple. The ones who believe.

 

Counting sheep. Lambs. Lost lambs.
Mary had a little lamb,
fleece as white as snow.

Fleece.

Fleeced.
verb, past tense,
meaning robbed or cheated, ex.

“The sheep awaiting the shepherd
worry that they have been fleeced.”

If you want to get to heaven
Over on the other shore
Stay out of the way of the long-tongue liar
Oh good shepherd
Feed my sheep

Wolves make more sense. Wolves I know.

Wolf whistles. Wolf of Wall Street. Hungry like a wolf.
Wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Did you know?

When sheep are being stalked,
and chased, and snapped at
by a wolf (or wolves), it is said

that the wolves are worrying them.

Worrying them.

Sometimes
Sheep can be worried to death
Without a scratch on them.

If you want to get to heaven
Over on the other shore
Stay out of the way of the gun shot devil
Oh good shepherd
Feed my sheep

Not all who wander are truly lost, but
not all who remain know for sure
where the hell they are.

Like, just this last week,
two towns over, a kid got lost.
Missed the bus, separated from his flock.

He knocked on a door,
looking for a shepherd
to point his way to the high school.
Lady of the house heard him knocking.

Through the glass the missus saw:
Dark eyes. Dark skin
Hair like lamb’s wool.

This one does not belong to her fold.

The lady screamed.
The child startled, and turned
and the hired man, who is not a shepherd

Fired at his disappearing back.

Fleet sneakers leaving footprints in the frost.
Scattered, for the moment, but not lost,
now home with the ninety-nine.  

He’s fine, but
oh, good shepherd,

oh, good shepherd,

that little lamb
was worried.

One for Paul, One for Silas,
One for to make my heart rejoice
Can’t you hear my lambs a-callin’?

Oh, good shepherd.
Feed my sheep.

 

“The Good Shepherd,” Jefferson Airplane. https://youtu.be/lOWX2-l788A

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/oakland-county/2018/04/13/police-rochester-hills-man-shoots-teen/33801593/

 

*****

Theresa Marier Weiler is a Detroit-area musician and educator.

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