by Michael Dennis Browne

Saw a lamb being born.
Saw the shepherd chase and grab a big ewe
and dump her on her side.
Saw him rub some stuff from a bottle on his hands.
Saw him bend and reach in.
Heard two cries from the ewe.
Two sharp quick cries.  Like high grunts.
Saw him pull out a slack white package.
Saw him lay it out on the ground.
Saw him kneel and take his teeth to the cord.
Saw him slap the package around.
Saw it not move.
Saw him bend and put his mouth to it and blow.
Doing this calming, half kneeling.
Saw him slap it around some more.
Saw my mother watching this.  Saw Angela.  Saw Peter.
Saw Mimi, with a baby in her belly.
Saw them standing in a row
by the dry stone wall, in the wind.
Saw the package move.
Saw it was stained with red and yellow.
Saw the shepherd wipe red hands on the ewe’s wool.
Heard the other sheep in the meadow calling out.
Saw the package shaking its head.
Saw it try to stand.  Saw it nearly succeed.
Saw it have to sit and think about it a bit.
Saw a new creature’s first moments of thinking.
Felt the chill blowing through me.
Heard the shepherd say:
“Good day for lambing.  Wind dries them out.”
Saw the package start to stand.  Get half-way.  Kneeling.
Saw it push upward.  Stagger, push.  And make it.
Stand, standing.
Saw it surely was a lamb, a lamb, a lamb.
Saw a lamb being born!