Mar/Apr 2020 • Vol. XLII No. 2 |

Saving Luna

2019 Kenyon Review Short Nonfiction Contest Runner-up I name the first lamb born on our farm Luna, because she arrives sometime in a night with a full, or mostly full, moon. It’s still above the western horizon, dropping toward the black swells of the Alleghenys, when I push into the barn to find her, slicked with amniotic fluid, on a pile of straw in the center of a stall. Her mother, V322, named for the scrapie ear tag mandated by the State of Virginia, crouches in a far corner, watching Luna with mild distrust, as one might eye a fellow occupant of the drunk tank on the morning after. I know from Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep that V322 should have, within seconds of her lamb’s birth, begun to lick her clean, mark her with maternal scent, and push her to her feet to nurse. I pick Luna up and carry her to her mother, lay the lamb at her front hooves. V322 gives the tiny ewe a quick slap with the tongue then trundles to the other side of the stall, swiveling away to stare

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KT Sparks is a farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. She received her MFA from Queens University in Charlotte, and her short fiction has appeared in Pank, Word Riot, Citron Review, Jersey Devil Press, WhiskeyPaper, and the Jellyfish Review, and was recognized in the New Millennium Writing Awards and The Moth short story competition. Her novel, Four Dead Horses, a story of cowboy poetry and the obese pet mortician who loves it, was a semifinalist in Southeast Missouri State University Press’s Nilsen Prize, took first place in the James River Writers’ Best Unpublished Novel Contest, and was excerpted in Richmond Magazine.

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