For most people, a cow is a cow, but the grace of this native pair despite their good flesh, a seven year-old Hereford cow and her heifer calf, approaches the perfection of motherhood for me, reminding of an ode included in “Poems from Dry Creek” and published by Starhaven in 2008.
On the horns of an infant moon,
the creek shrinks and pools
between sycamores and live oaks
as babies come to first-time mothers
bringing the bear tracks downcanyon
on the scent of spent placentas.
Black progeny of the river nymph –
white heifer driven madly by Hera’s
gadfly Oestrus to cross continents
and populate Asia – find maternity
perplexing at first. Yet, lick and nuzzle
the stumbling wet struggle to stand,
suckle and rest that enflames instinct
in all flesh. Worthy timeless worship,
no better mother ever than a cow.