Nicole’s Lamb

by Angela Prew

Dawn light floods fields,
the children yawn, stretch,
join the restless dogs
on the feed sacks in the bakkie.
We lurch over grass
touched by the sun
colouring the tips of the mountains.
A file of ostriches zigzags behind us
necks out, wings half-raised,
pecking greedily as grain spills from sacks,
not waiting while the men
fill feed into huge, empty tyres.
More fields to bump across
edged by fences, polka-dotted
with white picnic plates.
The bakkie heaves and pants,
dogs and children shiver in the cold,
barking excitedly, laughing and shrieking,
unaware of autumn beauty.
Ostriches fed, time now for sheep;
a ewe in trouble bleats piteously
nuzzling the newborn by her side.
The men jump out
find rusty knives, syringes,
out-of-date medicine.
Neels picks up the lamb,
drops it in Nic’s lap;
she hold it, new this morning,
touches it gently, wondering, looks up, smiles.
And the morning is illuminated.

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