Missed when the three brothers took the herd off the hill
At the back end of the year, he tripped about
Up there on the heathery slopes till the snow came;
Braved drifts alone, pawing through freezing sheets .
To nibble at icy tufts; sheltered in gullies from
March rains that poked his ribs like cold-steel rods;
Shied away from the scraps of lunchtime pieces
The transmission station men tossed over the fence at him.
Come the late spring, you’d see his sleek form fill out,
His charolais coat redden as the primroses budded;
April nights he’d defy the last chilly gusts to stand
On the summit, silhouetted against the moon’s clarity;
How his head bobbed high when the lorry tail dropped
And the new cows and calves skittered into his company.