Jon Benner

My Wife Wants Sheep (a dream)

All the day long my children are clamoring for rescue
from the pains of this life –
two housebound cats dying to hunt
but settling, in discontent,
for ear scratches and tinned food –
a young human child dying the day long to know that
she belongs in this world, and is enough,
and that death is a very long way off –
the potbound succulents dying for a drink,
and perchance a sunnier window ledge –
and the driveway worms dying in the morning sun,
trapped by this endless black rock we have made.

And now, My Wife, you speak in my dream,
and say that we need two sheep –
and to golf with them, no less –
and though these sheep feel pleasingly firm under my palm,
succulent and crackling with life,
and though you ask in such a lilting
and lovely Irish brogue,
still I say: no more, no more!
we have enough beings dying under our care as it is,
and at this point I cannot even tell
where my children end
and God’s begin.

The open Gate

Some of us are shown the open gate
But not let pass through

The emerald fields beyond
Billowing in the wind

I hurl myself at the open gate

And I lose my mind

Jon Benner is trained as a scientist with Ph.D. in biogeochemistry. After completing his Ph.D., he spent time as a Buddhist monk, a science teacher, a mover and a pet sitter. He is now writing from his home in the Hudson Valley where he lives with his wife, daughter, and two cats.”