Lamb's Ear by Bernadette McCarthy

We were Mrs Coughlan’s communion class.
Tom was slow. One morning he bore
a lamb’s ear in its first flourish
that was passed between caffling hands,
in wonder that God should furnish
baby ears for brazen ditches,
to be rasped crude by cows’ tongues.

I rubbed the lobe. Tender as a bruise:
a fondling, reluctant to be schooled

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