Ten little hoofed soldiers march
like human kids, catch my eye,
play King of the Mount atop
a stump grand enough to hold
two; the others leap aside.
I walk past. One leaves the mob,
runs close, bleats, then breaks away:
a brave, though slant-wise scoot,
his mother's deeper call a sweet pursuit.
In late spring, I'm told, the lambs
will go to slaughter, bawling terror
and surprise: "Where are my mates
who slept so close, who gamboled
under skies of timber gray?" they'll cry,
their mothers keening through the night,
though I will hear what sounds like "Baa-aa!