We begin to gather
all the good news
showered upon us
from the sky,
harvest the grass
in the flesh of calves,
and like every year
we will weigh them,
measure our good fortune
with a number
to judge a season by.

We will turn the cows out
back to grass, back to homes
they’ve made on ground
good for little else
but wildlife—four-month
vacation with the girls
gossiping in the shade
without bulls
or nagging children
to disturb them.

Not a bad life
when it rains.


6 responses to “IDES OF MAY

  1. This is also a kind of mothers day card.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a completely apropos poem, John. I can see this when we’re in Wyoming. And it’s always good to cut out the bull (not as in making a steer, but otherwise.) 🙂



  3. Is one decent season of rain enough to decide to increase the heard? Flip a coin?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even though we have ended our rainy season with more than average rainfall, I think we’re still in a dry trend. We didn’t buy any cows to replace what we had to sell, about 40% of our herd, but we did keep some replacement heifers last year to breed to the Wagyu bulls, due in September. We plan to keep 80-100 more this year.

      Buying cows from other places often takes a couple of years for them to acclimate, to develop immunity to foothill abortion and other localized problems. We would rather rebuild from our young native cowherd.

      Besides, as Robbin has advocated, let’s enjoy having water and grass, not having to feed as much as we get older. A good question, Richard, some other ranchers have been buying.


  4. Sounds like sound thinking. Native cows that you know their history and as you say, their immunity. It must be nice to have a smart woman partner like Robbin to help keep our macho, I’m tough, I can feed again if I have to, in check. lol I bet you didn’t argue when she said what you already felt yourself. You’re a good team.


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