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Space for the small and infirm – I must be mad!

Heavy snow hides faded winter grass
They have been content to pull
at this shadow food
remnant of summer’s larder.
Now they gather intently
around the feeder
where tobacco scented silage
unravels under assault
by mouth and horn.
Something nags me;
I know that the herd is fed,
but there is a lack
a gap in the weft of welfare.
Moira and George Halfcalf
are left on the road;
Moira Hornless, bullied
accepting subservience.
Her little lad
dwarvish, unviable,
ill-adapted to the new condition
alive, God knows why.

I drive them to the shed:
they will have feed and cover
against this night’s cold.
Tomorrow Morag will join them
with her calf latest born
of this year
and last
to the old white cow
with arthritic hind leg
swinging clear of the ground.
IMAG0958
The net of care is filling:
the winter herd finds its new form.

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