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.