The Electric Fence

the thing about electric fencing is that
cattle must be taught to “fear the wire”;
no cow is born with such a fear,
but learns it through the sting
of repeated electrical shocks,
as many times as it takes.
the well-trained need no wire at all;
an inert length of rope will do the trick
to keep them in their place.
one might wonder at
a herd of two-ton creatures held in check
with barely more than a string:
“don’t these cows know that virtually nothing
stands between them and freedom?”
but one must understand the insidious way
that wire stretches inside the soul
and becomes an immovable barrier:
ever present, ever-punishing with fear
of pain that is unpredictably enforced,
ensuring self-policed docility
with a minimum of effort.
“it’s all in their heads,” one says
and scoffs at cows with “silly” notions
that crossing a line carries a punishment
when all one can see is string.
but in the mind, the wire is tangible and real,
a daunting barrier deliberately placed
by those who knew exactly what they were doing.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

Pastor Josh Evans

sermons, theological musings, and other ramblings of a queer lutheran pastor in brew city

Écrits du jour

Je ne parle pas français.


~creating community for clergywomen~


Tapestry--A bilingual (Spanish/English), multicultural community of faith in Richfield, Minnesota

oh dang, i'm in SEMINARY?

how'd that happen

Things That Matter

Rejoice and be glad! You'll thank me later.

Road to Antioch

Rejoice and be glad! You'll thank me later.

gratitude gal

Rejoice and be glad! You'll thank me later.

%d bloggers like this: