by Dakota Moos

decay-black tar engulfs four cloven hooves
stuck in a valley slew. the feet struggle, 
wrenching and kicking, splashing pearl white wool 
with filth-dark muck, matting it. swirling oil 
refracts the rainbow sunlight as it curls 
around the trapped creature’s knees and, pooling 

under its belly, stains the wool. pooling 
liquid reflects back a soft nose as hooves 
below calm. rectangle pupils, long curls,
propeller ears, scars from many struggled 
rescues: all are warped in the flowing oil, 
yet as colorful as Joseph’s coat. soft wool

grows heavy with gunk, pulling the soaked wool 
down. the sheep collapses. piss starts pooling 
behind it, mingling stink with the muck-oil.
bleating cries echo in the mountain. hooves 
vainly try to move the sludge. the struggle, 
sinks it deeper until exhaustion curls 

around its shaking body. its tongue curls
out of its mouth, desperate for its soaked wool 
to be free. the weight is crushing. lungs struggle 
to expand, to breathe. hope begins pooling 
with the sinful tar ensnaring its hooves.
the iridescent attraction of oil 

is a mere facade masking the tar. oil 
brings the sheep close, traps, and seeps into curls 
of wool, dragging it deeper. once its hooves 
were planted by the Shepherd with white wool. 
then it ran, choosing tar o’er the pooling 
love in the Master’s voice. now ears struggled

to hear it, yearning. will He come? struggle- 
exhaustion, the weak sheep surrenders. oil 
wins til He spots His sheep in the pooling 
murk. immediately He reaches, curls 
His crook around the sticky neck, rips wool 
clumps out, and grabs His beloved’s tar-hooves.

His grace cleanses, pooling and washing the struggles,
sins, clinging to my hooves. anoint with holy oil 
and Christ’s blood these dirtied curls till I’m white as wool. 

Dakota Moos is originally from Soldotna, Alaska. Growing up in a Christian household and attending Christian school, she knew about the Lord from a young age, but it was not until highschool that she began to have a personal relationship with Christ. Much of this growth happened through exploring what it means to be a true follower of Christ through writing stories and poetry. Dakota is currently studying Secondary English Education at Colorado Christian University in hopes of someday sharing her experiences and love of writing with kids like her. 

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