The argument for an honest wage lost,
you could not face the once-and-for-all
so sent down the farm’s pot holed track
three of your cows each market day.
This then a slow shrinking of the herd,
a leaking away as though from a holed pail
with its constant drip, drip, drip of milk
to the ground, cheaper than bottled water
more painful than a long prayer in blood.
It was as if each small float load of cattle
was a shiny white pebble dropped by you
to follow back home in the moonlight,
a faint path to a place no longer there.
Jim Carruth is the current Glasgow poet laureate and has had six pamphlet collections of poetry since his first Bovine Pastoral in 2004. His first full collection Killochries was published in 2015.