In the Stars,
by Linda Pennisi

When she saw in the Sunday Stars that a B & B had opened at a sheep farm in the state of her birth, she saw it as a sign, and began to plan her life around a visit. This year, let’s vacation at the sheep farm, she said, I want to hold and feed a lamb.  It was then she realized she had always wanted to be Jesus, or at least to feel the way he must have felt when he walked among the flock and bent to choose the one to crook in his robed arm and carry for a while. And since she wasn’t getting any younger, she understood this summer had better be the one.  She touched the head of her husband and said, Go into the woods for seven days and return with seven staffs. On the seventh day, she chose the staff she felt he’d carved of heartwood, and she practiced walking through the field as one might walk through the ages, and imagined holding the meek in her arm, and wearing her spirit on her face like the Jesus of her girlhood.   And she journeyed back to the church of her youth, and from a pew she studied the stained glass shepherd, and brought a seamstress to study the folds of his robe, and a mixer of dye to study the colors, and even as she walked through the days of the year toward summer, her posture improved, and her hair grew into a softer, though more commanding style. And May evenings when she drove through the country, she imagined all the lambs of the field briefly stopped their gamboling, that they and their shepherds picked up their heads for a moment as she passed.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 1.

Linda Tomol Pennisi is the author of Seamless, winner of the Perugia Press Intro Prize (2003), and Suddenly, Fruit, winner of the Carolina Wren Press Award (2006).  Her work has appeared in journals such as Cimarron Review, Prairie Schooner and Hunger Mountain.  She serves as Writer in Residence in the creative writing program of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.

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