We work in tandem days and nights,
walking a shepherd’s trance,
straining to keep the lambs alive.
Frae their first braith
they ar tryin fir their hinmaist.
He gives me a lamb to save;
advice, bottle, rubber teat.
Drip drip of milk, long hours
into the tiny mouth, motherless,
blanket-wrapped by the stove door.
This bleating life-bundle
has to survive —
for the old man, for itself,