A rough-haired cow relieved to graze apart
from fat calves at the bottom of the mountain
yearns to feel the chemise and manzanita claw

and comb her hide—stays away, sometimes
overnight for days. Weaned a little everyday
we breathe, those details that sustained us

fade into myth to fit each moment of discovery,
with each lumbering step uphill, until
we become less to finally wean ourselves.

Voilà! A playful calf again, humped to buck
at her side, only to run recklessly
across pastures before learning how to stop.

4 responses to “VOILÀ

  1. Now I must find out what a manzanita claw is – beautiful.


    • ‘Claw’ used in this context is a verb. But riding through thick manzanita, the brittle twigs can become like claws, and if riding too rambunctiously, they can tear your shirt to shreds. Thanks so much Francis for visiting and for your comment.


  2. John- I’m enjoying the passion and insight you share as a rancher in both your photos and poetry.
    – Jane


    • Thanks, Jane. I hadn’t thought about both passion and insight in the same sentence — one I think we’re born with and the other comes the hard way. Now you’ve given me something to chew on for a while. Probably have a different notion by tomorrow morning. Thanks again.


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