Gaps in the Fence

I found the animals roaming on the same hill
where I left them

becoming frustrated
by my lack of proficiency

in leading and containing them.
These tasks seemed too distinct

to accomplish at the same time,
each one requiring a whole mind.

I knew they were my animals
because they made me anxious

in all the familiar ways.
I felt the need to love them

though there was no love in me at the moment,
only the feeling of needing to feel so, and I wished then

to lie down with them for a while to see
if they would accept me in solitude or if

I would accept myself in that same solitude
among them and if in that way

like I had promised I could learn then
how finally to keep track of their roaming.