“The Oxen” by Thomas Hardy is ostensibly a Christmas poem, describing an old wives’ tale about how animals would kneel at midnight on Christmas Eve in honor of the birth of Jesus. But it was written in 1915 amidst a world that was about to be changed forever by modern warfare and technology and so for me it is also a poem about longing for lost things. Read the whole poem here. Composition, drawing, and collage by me. I recently rediscovered the drawing of the dog in between the sheets of one of my old notebooks – I copied it from a book of “copyright-free illustrations” as a drawing exercise at least a decade ago. I’m glad I found it again and it’s now found a home with Hardy’s poem.