Post Road Magazine #26

A Winter Wound

Peter Fallon

Tears in his eyes
from an east wind
and ice rain
and, surely, more sinned

against than sinning,
he stared as the cattle turned
back to confront a bare stall.
Had even the frosts not burned

the leaves from the briars. . .
In all the years that he remembers
there wasn't the like,
with its four Novembers

and the two or three
when any weather's swerve
bore more adversaries.

I've known those nights,
up at the lambing, snowblind,
when you'd search for what
you hoped you wouldn't find.

I've seen those gaunt
beasts haunt the marts,
felt the heartsink
of false starts

in the low moans of live-
known the hurt hope
of herd and flock,

and heard his spirit cry,
'This will not end,
not soon or in a time to come,
because it happened.'

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