Poems of the Week

Sweet Memerino

by Julia Griffin

Chris the sheep, a merino famed for once being discovered with the world’s heaviest fleece, has died in Australia. The animal generated global attention in 2015 after being spotted in the wild carrying what was described as six years’ worth of wool. A life-saving haircut followed, with a shearer removing 41.1kg (88lb) of fleece—later confirmed to be a world record.
On Tuesday, his carers at a New South Wales farm said he had died of old age. …
The sanctuary added that while Chris was best known for his fleece, to staff he had been ‘so much more’.”
—BBC News

In New South Wales, the farmers weep,
Then fondly reminisce
About the just-departed sheep
Known globally as Chris,

Whose harvest of merino wool
(And other odd debris)
Would once have rendered three bags’ full,
Each 13 + kg.

This awed the world, but Chris’s friends
Had found him so much more—
So now, they hope his state transcends
The best he’d known before:

He hears the music of the spheres,
And chews the grass of peace,
With no necessity for shears
To touch his risen fleece;

For what was once a greasy shroud
Is now an airy shawl:
A sweet, self-generated cloud,
Which has no weight at all.