Saturday, 27 July 2013


Maureen Clifford ©
The Scribbly Bark Poet

Her son was born – he did not move - she tried to make him wake
then stood aghast and stared at him. This must be a mistake.
Once more she shook a shoulder small then fell down by his side
and wrapped herself close round him, her stance her pain implied..

The babe was badly malformed – a cruel and sad defect
no bottom jaw was there to see – this babe was not perfect.
In every other way it was, but this one would not feed
so nature took the one recourse and showed mercy indeed.

We tried to raise the Mother – her grief was pitiful
she wouldn’t leave her babies side – she thought him beautiful.
She noticed not the gaping wound – the hideous awful grin
She saw the beauty of his soul – the innocence within.

We covered up the tiny corpse with sacking from the shed
and got a halter on the ewe, led her away in dread.
We knew if she survived the night that nature would be kind
and dim the memory of the little lamb she left behind.

Her cries all night just broke your heart; she called and called in vain.
We’d disposed of the little lamb – he did not bear a name.
Another orphan lamb we’d found and he cried for his Mother.
Perhaps the two together would be solace for each other.

And so it was – she took to him – let down her milk to feed
the little bloke disconsolate, a little bloke in need.
We watched in wonder as she washed his tiny woolly head
and muttered mother talk to him, as he butted and fed.

But never have I once forgot the anguish that ewe felt.
She mourned for her small lambs loss just as I would mourn myself.
Don’t ever think that animals are devoid of emotion
they live and die, they love, break hearts and show their young devotion.

For in their psyche nature rules – the strong outlast the weak.
Nature at times is harsh and cruel and havoc she can wreak.
But mostly mother love is strong – it’s what ensures survival
of every species here on earth. Love welcomes each arrival.

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