The twin lambs were not ready
to be born, their baby hooves
soft as slippers, and smaller
than the thumbnail of a man.
I found them,
in the wet grass, alone.
Picture the dogs
snapping at the ewe’s swollen belly
panicked, eyes rolling
as she fled. The yells ignored
finally cornered at the field’s edge
flanks heaving, she stands her ground,
stamps, head low, glaring.
The dogs retreat, too late
leads clipped, they trot
to heel. And she births
her lambs there, they come fast
slip from the shelter of her womb,
so small. And when she licks
the membrane from their mouths,
maybe a flutter of breath,
but this cold morn
is not their time,
they are not ready to be born.
Their dam would stay some while,
nudge and nuzzle damp still sides;
she would not pause but put her body
between danger and her lambs.
Maybe she called to them,
ready to feel the butt
of impatient heads
at the hot bell of her udder, ready
to let down her milk.
Early photos of Rose show her up to her chin in flowers, and 5 decades later, not much has changed. A dancer, writer, environmental activist and lifelong gardener, she is often found creating ephemeral nature art in quiet corners of the countryside. Her poems often take shape on long walks, or in the small hours of the night, and have been published in a number of online magazines, including The Lake and Poetry Village
Rose Lennard: email@example.com