It all takes too long.
Sheep too narrow, lamb too big
and rain hammering on the tin roof
scattering the quiet.

Sunrise still sulks out of sight,
out of mind.
The farmyard a black mirror,
midden cloaked in shadows
until the security light catches
on a fox scurrying for shelter.

Knelt in the straw,
concrete cold on her knees,
her breath is mist.
Knuckles tucked between
the new-born’s ankles
as she pulls it free.

She lays it straight,
rubs a fistful of bedding
to its ribcage.
Tries to scrub breath
back into its body.

Twenty miles away,
her own child will be sleeping.
Her husband’s mother
holding her place
until Spring runs its course.

She lays the lamb by the door,
notes to call Bradshaw’s
in the morning
and tries not to carry it home
to the empty room
where the cot is waiting.



Carol J Forrester is a young writer posting stories and poems to her blog She’s been featured at Ink Pantry and River Ram Press and had two poems included in the dVerse anthology Chiarscuro.