When I struggle for sleep,
I dust off a classic
and try counting sheep:

Trouble is, my sheep show off,
they leap like Olympians
over their feeding trough –

They soar through the air,
blending into the clouds,
pirouette, land back down, where

the rest of the animals wait,
giving scores, mostly tens,
‘cept the East German pigs, 9.8.

It’s all rather amusing, only
I’m still awake, while you doze
by my side, and thus lonely

I nudge you and whisper, “Hi,”
to which you groan, and reply,
“If you don’t shut up, you will die.”


Josh Lefkowitz won the 2013 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Prize, an Avery Hopwood Award for Poetry at the University of Michigan, was a finalist for the 2014 Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize, and won First Prize in the 2016 Singapore Poetry Contest. His poems and essays have been published at Barrelhouse, The Offing, Conduit, The Rumpus, The Huffington Post, and many other places. He has also recorded humor pieces for NPR’s All Things Considered and BBC’s Americana.

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One Response

  1. Esiad L. Werecub

    Counting sheep doesn’t always work. Think of Polyphemus (Cyclops).
    Perhaps you could join the lotus-eaters.


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