Restless after family come together for the holidays,
I can see the top wire stretched and sagging near
the gate we hung, still green and shiny in the Blue Oaks

between Sulphur and the Top—look into this morning’s
black, eager to repair. Or the down gate, Live Oak post
slipping its loop between the Top and Buckeye—

the balancing of bulls, renegotiating reasons for
a breeding plan, mixing and stirring cows and calves.
Or the stretch of down wire below Railroad, leaking

cattle last time gathered, and the leafless Live Oak
grown naked in the fence at the Turtle Pond—all
need my attention, chain saw, hay and a little luck

packed into the Kubota—off to get something done
before the Doctor reads the results of last week’s tests.
My best work in the dark, my face can’t take the sun.

                                                                                for Bob

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