Sunday, February 22, 2015

Working Strain

Sheepdog, free to good home, 
Working strain…

No need to explain
He’s useless, isn’t he, for herding the woolly gods?
Disobedient, easily distracted, bored and prone to nipping
Those are the facts
And now, training with cattle prod or walkie-talkied collar
Is too much bother
For you. No dividend in sight.
Your whistle sends
The mutt, slithering like a snake
Flashing round the flock and up the hill
Until that too-keen eye 
Glimpses something - or he hears a skylark’s cry
And no whistle or shout from you
Will do anything to bring him back
To the job in hand
For that dog doesn’t dream 
Of  wandering mutton
He sees a bird in flight and something stirs
Within, the whirr of
Bicycles, the hum of cars - 
He knows that far, far away
There’s something more than this
This coarse and brutal life, this pain

The working strain

Caged with 10 others
Never praised or patted
He’s never sat
And felt a child’s caress
That love so sweet
He’s just a tool, a piece of meat
Out in all weathers, snow, hail and rain

The working strain

Genetics rule
Only a fool, you say, would take a dog for company
And pleasure, would measure
Him by simple faithfulness and loyalty

But, you know, that’s good enough for me
Must I explain?
I’m not from a working strain.
I never was. I understand
The sheepless sheepdog.

I’ll take him off your hands.

Copyright Tom Morton 2015. All rights reserved

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