At the end of its neck arched in rigor mortis pose,
its head touched its backbone. Its lower jaw was gone.
Its upper molars, exposed to the examination
of the sun, witnessed to its youth: barely worn.
With my son, nine years old, we saw its white flags
of surrender scattered across the stubbled ryegrass field
half the distance between us and where it lay still.
We circled its pale, picked-over form and stood.
There was no shepherd, no electric fence, no fold
to keep it in. Left behind when the sheep truck came,
it remained. We poked its bones, wondered how it died,
noticed the open space from where its eye once saw the field.
I turned away toward the voice of my wife calling us
to continue our walk, yet, I wanted to turn, again, to my son,
to take him into the fold of my arms, a place not left behind,
but he ran ahead of me urging me to come.
Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim