Another two lambs born dead –
limbs deformed; the same familiar story.
The same unforgiving wind – incessantly blows
up here on the moor; the one tore down
the stakes so the fence wouldn’t hold.
A dry wind – an easterly wind,
sparing with its rain.
A ewe lies down, exhausted,
by a fallen oak; a night’s labours
come to nothing, least of all for me.
Another ewe, wearing two winter coats;
two seasons since she was sheered. Can’t do
as much as I used to, and labour
don’t come cheap.
She chews things over by a clump of dock.
Purple-vetch, clover, celandine...all thrive,
no matter what, so why not her lambs?
The times I’ve asked that question –
and more besides, but God seems
to be hard of hearing
Count three, four, five...more lambs
stillborn, as I try to mend the fence. A coil
of new barbed-wire, glistens in a steady drizzle
and still God chooses not to listen. ‘Seven, eight
nine...’ I tell Him, as the skin of the morning
splits, and I can do nothing, but watch
this heartbreak Spring unwind.