The bulls have strayed, left steep terrain
where cows graze ridgetops since the rain,
bellyflopped fences to peruse the heifers

sequestered in the flat. Above the lake
I navigate translucent gray eclipsing hillsides,
calling blindly in the fog, listening

for an answer—almost like praying—trying
to gather cows and calves to hay before
putting one bull back, hoping a herd of his own

will hold him. A good exercise for the Sabbath,
before fixing fences. Everything moves slower
in the fog, I remember, watching the fuzzy

silhouette of a man in December driving a stake
with a sledgehammer, hearing the strike of steel
upon steel at the top of his next arc, when a boy.

A calf answers somewhere above, then unseen hooves
tumble sod nearby. Gradually from out of the ashen
gray, a few pairs materialize, plodding before me.

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