Sheep bones litter these pastures:
a frame of ribs,
a crooked spine,
skulls amongst thistles
a loose jaw, a snag of fleece.
Once, in a bush in a morass of swamp,
a whole skeleton,
head thrown back,
mouth open, fixed in one last, long bleat.
From a ridge a small flock stare unblinking,
watch while another sheep dies:
the slow, shallow breathing,
a fatal bloating.
I have thought to take a skull,
polish the hard bone between the eye-sockets,
set it on an oak table,
an ornament, a centre-piece, a talking point,
but rams-horns bode evil
and moonlight burnishes teeth.