Newborn

She waits in darkness

Head down,

Flanks heaving,

For the first rays of sun

Rising over the black edge of the hills.

Her head lifts, nostrils softly flaring.

It’s time.

Crimson lips, spread wide

Two tiny hooves

Appear together.

Fetlock, canon, knees

Wrapped still, in pieces, flaps glistening.

Head and neck stretched out,

His ribs push through

And he slithers out.

The ground breaks the sac,

Fluid soaking into the damp grass,

She looks around and steps

Daintily sideways,

Tongue rasping over and over,

Whorls of wet hair

Dry rapidly in the growing warmth.

He’s all legs, splayed out and wobbling.

Something to do.

The imperative is clear,

Such will to survive.

Falling down, getting up,

Rose-rimmed nostrils twitch at the prize,

He finds it and braces, mobile lips sucking,

And she stands in peace, eyes closed in contentment.

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