by Alicia Cole

The flock was easier to patch: a few lambs bawled down the hill,
The siring ram found in the hedge, his horns tangled.
The rest, just tufts between the boulders and stained turf,
A sleeve in the scrub, blue from elbow to cuff,
To which his mother added burlap, made a sister's winter coat.
She walked the town silent, her left arm a shield against beasts.
In a town grown tired of night criers, tired of fragility
Laid bare, a howl dashed against the rocks was winter's meat.

Alicia Cole is an educator, a traveler and a writer. She's interested in things that grow, synchronicity and community building. Her poetry has recently appeared in Abyss & Apex, Electric Velocipede, and Niteblade and can soon be found in Asimov's. When choosing fruit, she prefers watermelon, a reminder of a childhood spent in backyards with juice dribbling down her chin, slicking her elbows, waiting for a garden hose to rinse off with.

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