This was the season the lambs were born frozen,
when the hill farmer burrowed through March snow
for the opaque flock, cocooned in the camouflage
of immeasurable white. Even then he had to choose
who was to be cloaked over his shoulders and trudged
to asylum or left to frailty in derelict wonder.
They say sheep can brave a life of ice for weeks,
watered by the snow melting around them, feeding
on the wool of their kith and warmed in the huddle.
Still many survivors will die soon after,
not to be buried in their primordial fields, beneath
the petrified grasses they never ventured beyond.
Instead the perished flock become a flung mound,
a dune of pillows, primed for collection,
pallid, unbloodied, a snowdrift stained.
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