Start slow because it’s hard to wake before the dawn,
but even in the dark someone depends on you.
First, take the dog for a walk across the lawn;
stride along the fence line and enjoy your view.
Stop before you meet the yellow jacket nest
sleeping in the ground, hidden by the way.
Turn around and you will see the sun crest,
and the beams of light dissected by bales of hay.
Now, cut up a long carrot or a shiny apple.
Grab your muck boots, coat, and flashlight,
bring them with you to the fence where Sparkle
has been waiting for you to come into sight.
By the time the horse starts to walk away,
Nicole will see you; you will hear her baaing.
Five pairs of wide set eyes with pupils sideways
as if drawn by a messy paintbrush, all watching.
Check the minerals and inspect the electric net,
give them some corn and grain, maybe some hay.
Nicole, Blossom, Sandy, Butterfly, Crumpet
All watch you closely, the keeper of the bale.
Now, you can go back inside and put your boots up.
Make a cup of tea with milk; you are learning.
Sip it slowly out of your favorite cup.
From the dog, the horse, and the sheep: