The Scapegoat at Carlingford Lough
© By Janet Shepperson
I stand on the pebbled shore at Rostrevor,
my back to the placid Edwardian villas
under Slieve Martin – its curled up forests
reflecting sleepily in the Lough.
the winter day sinks into a crescent
of light, between North and South.
Upstream of Warrenpoint
a black line leaves the map,
disintegrates to specks
drifting apart, dissolving,
sweeping down the narrows
to the sea.
Cold fills the North.
The clouds move briskly.
shrinks into itself
like a child expecting
Something emerges from the grass behind it,
whimpering, shivering; wet fur clings in streaks
parting to show the skin, shifting and changing
shape, a pitiful trail scraped by the wind
moving across the hillside, innocent, lethal;
the scapegoat stumbles off into the dusk.