What the taxi did - by Joy Green

What the taxi did

Joy Green

His father herded sheep

sheared them while sun blistered his neck.

One sister carded and another spun

miles of thread from each fleece.


The mother dyed it with herbs

grown in a garden kept alive

by dirty bathwater,

knitted a sweater and hat

and pulled them tenderly onto his skinny body.


He grows, like weeds do,

in spite of drought

but next winter

as cold wraps him

there will be no wool for him to wear.


This poem was written by Joy as part of 'Poets under Pressure' in response to National Geographic's '50 Greatest Photographs' and the scene in Number 26 of a young boy whose flock of sheep were killed.  Poets were given ten minutes to create poetry about a photograph chosen from a member of the audience.