Sheep Dog

The night comes,

deep and cold.

Under the brilliant light

of the full moon,

the flocks in the field

glow white.


They have finally quieted,

after something in the night

spooked them.

Their bleating I fear

will draw the wolves

down from the high mountains.

For now at least,

the cold has them huddled together

and quiet.


I get up,

stretch my legs

and run a slow, loping circuit

of the field,

stopping occasionally

to test the wind with my nose.


My eyes cannot pierce

the darkness of the woods,

but two nights ago

a she-wolf took a ewe.

we tracked her down

and killed her,

but we lost the ewe.

From scent and sign,

we know

she was part of a larger pack.


Wolf, Coyote, Cougar;

it is nearly spring

and the hunters seeks

to fill their lean bellies.

My brothers and I keep watch,

for The Shepherd feeds us

and keeps us

and our only joy is to please Him.


The flock is His,

the fields are His

and we will happily lay down our lives

to protect them.

I complete my circuit of the field,

having found no scent,

no sign, or sound.


On a rock,

high enough to give me

a good view of the fields

and the flocks

and the sky,

all lit with silver moonlight;

I settle in to my watch.


In the hills,

far away,

yet clear to my ear,

I hear them howling.

Baying in their hunger

at the moon.

Soon they will come

and I will be ready.



HG – 2017


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