No father or mother left to leave
a Christmas gift under the tree—
even the child in us understands.
An ever-ready substitute, the old
Hereford bull plods along the fence
looking past the asphalt, gutturally
conversing with the neighbor’s
registered Angus mothers
while his younger brethren work
the steep brush and rock,
gather families in the wild
from last year’s seed.
Kept another year, just in case
someone gets hurt, we become
the extras for the gods—
walk the sidelines
lending words to the old songs
‘lest the world forgets
the melodies of Christmas
when it rains, or snows low
leaving only grass under trees.