A PERFECT PATCH

Beyond the window on the hillside up
between the dark green oaks at dawn,
a patch of blond dry feed – grasses

bent to a breeze before the storm.
Even the empty heads of wild oats
are heavy beneath a gray sky in May

and I can trace the well-coiffed track
of a comb from a quarter mile away –
that seemingly untouched perfection

where forty cows have grazed, that
last arch old grasses reach before a rain
lays them down to mat and mold

where I thought I saw two black cows,
calves somewhere else behind a tree,
two dark shapes that have disappeared

now that I’ve leapt there, focused in detail,
and remembering: we gathered them all,
the last pair trailing-in along the fence

tracking her friends, looking for company
other than her calf ready to be weaned –
slightly wild-eyed, suddenly suspicious

of a change in needs, almost completely
self-sufficient, living off the land,
almost perfect if she were a wild thing.

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