Thursday, September 3, 2009
walking eleven miles
to St. Andrews from Crail
after taking the bus there,
we were two students making a day of it,
on our right, the Firth of Forth marching with us,
on our left, pasture, tireless gorse, the bunker
whose window i snapped sheep and ocean through,
scabrous concrete matting the photo.
then a sheep stumbled atop
a small rise, unable to crawl down.
a foreleg dangled in front of her
like a broken pointer. hoping to help,
we knocked on the farmhouse door.
oh . . . thank you, said the young man
who answered. it’ll mend.
it will heal itself? i asked with surprise.
he hesitated. no, but she’s going
to slaughter tomorrow, adding with feeling,
thank you for stopping, as if gratitude
might sweeten killing.