Miriam Obrey

Miriam is a retired couples' counsellor. She was Three Counties Showground poet during The Poetry Society’s Poetry Placements Scheme and led workshops for and during Warwick University's Advanced Writing Programme. Her pamphlet ’A Case for More Heads’ was published by Flarestack in 1996. Her poems appeared in anthologies including Oxford Poets 2007 and have won/been placed in competitions including The Arvon International, Ledbury, Ludlow Assembly Rooms, The Troubadour and Essex Poetry Festival.

Sheep shearing

.....so i resume the dance i've danced

all afternoon stepping round the last upended ewe

turning her

​ to strip the fleece from her flank

leaving a buffer of bristled kemp

Breathing in her grassy breath

i press the trembling mass of her hard

against my hip

​ she's kicking up dust

I keep my shears clear of the thick blue vein

that rises and falls with the swell of her belly

tightening my grip to wedge her fast

in the crook of my arm

​ hoiking her

up and round again

Leaning in mindful not to graze her throat

its tender skin

​i attend to the curve of her neck

Doubled up

​ she draws back her lips

against a grin of mismatched teeth

Her breath escapes in short hot bursts

I reach across the naked length of her

to pug the daggings from her tail

​ ​ Done

A quick release leaves her wool

quaking in a pile beside me

​and she shucked white-eyed

pink-flecked and panicky

​ ​ skidding off

across the yard

clattering on small black hooves