First Shear

by Kiera Hall

A sheep freezes in a field
in nothing but a thin layer of skin.
Its face is smeared with slobber
and its buttocks with its own manure.

When he snorts, icy extracts come out of his nose;
his legs shake as he wears nothing
but his socks.

He stays there for hours on end
in the sloppy, mud-covered field.

First shear, it’s his first time.
First shear of the season.

Shaking sheep in the field.
First shear of the winter.