The Moorland Sheep

Amidst the bracken, shoulder deep
Stands the rugged moorland sheep

Knowing nought of sweat or toil,
Of breaking stone, or tilling soil.

He never has to sow or reap
To earn his keep.

He never has to hew or cut
To fill his gut.

He never has to stook or stack
To put a coat upon his back.

In his interminable graze
He pauses to return my gaze.

With pallid, alien eyes he stares,
What emotion hides he there?

Merely curiosity?
Or pity for a soul like me?

Terry Watkins