In the marshlands
           alongside the railway line
that runs between
           Dartford and Barnehurst
there are sheep grazing

always the same sheep
           with their long woolly coats
I’ve never seen them sheared
           nor at any time
have I seen lambs :

cutting the marshlands
           almost in two
is a narrow meandering stream
           which may or may not
run into the River Cray

there are extensive reedbeds
           too and these never seem
to alter through time
           and every time I pass by
these wetlands I look

for signs of human life
           someone perhaps
tending to the sheep
           but I’ve never seen a soul
and it makes me wonder

John Lyons

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