Foreword Reviews


Daniel Lassell was raised in Kentucky with llamas and alpacas, and his poetry has been published in Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, Southern Humanities Review, and several other publications. He is currently a resident of Colorado along with his wife and children.

How to Pet a Llama

Let him sniff you first. Breathe easy.
Look him in the eyes
as you would your mother.
Don’t pat the head.
He doesn’t take being treated
like a dog. Keep your hand
at the neck, your palm down,
as if smoothing out
wrinkled linen. Let your words
slowly out like twine,
like pulling colors from a sleeve,
like a sharing of troubled history.
Llamas carry conversations
as if seated in a row boat
before fog has lifted, as if pausing
to hear the long echo after
a good shout. Welcome him.
Tenderly, a llama hums—not as if
recalling the tune to a song,
but something longer lost.
Call it a lullaby if you like.
Stand, just the two of you.
Let your breath mingle
as in cold, the air on tiptoe.

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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