In the old stories it’s always worth the trouble
but this time you doubt it.
For months she’s hidden herself
at the brambled rim of that steep hill
bleating for help as the wind
sings its increasingly wicked song.
Winter is coming. It means business.
You think of yourself as the field
she’s absent from, as the shepherd who must
find her. You began to understand
how mercy can start as little more
than a direction you can move in,
how your heart hates death.
You begin picking your way toward her
through a whole vocabulary
of wild flowers and thorns.