I hear a moan - of the earth, but unearthly -
On the other side of the wall.
I creep round, girding my loins from some horror.
"A lamb's having birth!" pipes a child, beckoning.
I join the haggle,
Watch the quiet kindness of humans
As the lamb's bud-horns lock her
In the coffin of her mother's womb,
Watch them wrestling with spindly legs, dashing for aid,
While, irrelevant but insistent,
A turkey courts hens round our shins,
Feathers at full sail, twirling in absurd vanity,
Tattered, matted, red-sore raw and ugly beyond belief.
A man returns with a lifeline of coarse string.
A woman helps him coax birth
From the patiently groaning ewe.
The lamb is dead on the hay.
They lay it at the mother's mouth for her to lick.
"Is it all right?" asks someone, stupidly.
I knew it from the start.
....But the lamb stirs.
My heart shouts with the joy of it.
Stubborn, hopeless, quiveringLife!