What the taxi did
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.