Counting Sheep
By John Camp
An Animal Rights Poem from

Counting Sheep
By John Camp

Sheep export

Itís just as well you cannot read
The blood-red daub upon your back Ė
A stroke of luck you canít take heed
As gaps appear within the pack.

Small mercy too that the coded bands
Punched in your ears are meaningless
(To you at least), when bloody hands
Come to tick them off their loading list.

And letís not forget the irony
That numbers are the warrant for your death,
While your every hair is counted
By the One who gave you breath.

Itís a kind of blessing, some would say,
That your shortened life is hid from view;
So you can bide from day to day,
Saved from knowing what, in time, is due.

And yet the signs are there to see
As if to advertise the fact
That in days to come you will not be Ė
And no eye will watch the deadly act

That casts you off to some better place
Whose portal is the door to hell:
ĎThe lamb that looks you in the faceí
Stares, unwitting, at death as well.

Orginally published in Catholic Concern for Animals / The Ark

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