THE RAGBAG SHEEPDOG
a ragbag sheepdog paced the yard
scavenging tor things to do
now that time had blurred his eye
and blunted his gait
his hinges arthritic, this farmer's mate.
I began the work i'd come to perform
pausing first to stare him out
with a pat and a cluck, then I saw the ball.
Like him it survived, well versed in
the bounce and the scuttling across the farm.
Moments spent with the farmer no doubt
a trick or treat that drew him out
and I threw it far.
With a streak of purpose and a flattened pose
he caught the ball on his infinite nose.
Was it the smell, or was it the sight
cultivated by day and night.
Those ears acute and more acute
whilst owls and mice
told their stories of sky and earth?
His snout would twitch
and his dreams would ride
on sickle moons on doggy moons
of sheepdog trials of guilty pride
silhouettes of static flight.
and now he lay just looking up
the ball so delicately placed
and ready for the same old tricks
of rounding the sheep he once had faced
my work delayed
my day complete.