Scotch Blackfaced Ewe

by Hilary Jupp

Here’s one that missed the gather.
Straggling where her lamb succumbed, this ewe
drifts her fleece over heather and furze.

Follow her, you may retrieve enough to spin.
Eventually she’ll shed it all in matted clumps,
then saunter, scruffy, bleating her call at the flock

flooding up to the common moor, their flanks,
shoulders, necks shorn close to the skin.
Each fleece clipped in one entire blanket,

while she, losing her teeth, evades the cull
as the waste of her winter cloak
falls away in her wake.