It is their faces, I remember,
heavy with calf, deep and careful
looks from questioning dark eyes
circled around me as I counted
walking, standing among them,
still – making our twice-a-day
ritual easy, visiting to inspect
loose progress without the hay.

Their tag numbers are familiar
rhymes from clipboard paper,
disconnected dates and notes
that may be useful someday –
but now it is their faces
I remember in this pasture
lazing before us, their first
fat calves soon to be weaned.

Drawn with evening close
to the house, to my loud
conversation tossed at gods
who understand, to you moving
in the garden, changing water,
picking strawberries, we are
comforted like family
brought back together again.

Generations out of poison oak
and fractured granite come
to us now. There are other worlds
with good fortune, other ways
to feel important, but none come
so willingly out of the wild
with such trust, just to say hello
or follow wherever we go.

2 responses to “HEIFERS

  1. Laurie Schwaller

    This reminds me so much of Gary Kenwood, twenty years ago, calling his cows up the South Fork; they filed out of the oaks and trailed him walking down the path along the ditch and across the meadow toward home. Thanks for renewing that memory, writing the news that stays news.


  2. Phyllis Miller

    I value your words and the experience that inspires them. You are blessed, indeed. Thank you


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