Panels on boards,
gates bent preceding us
to plug the holes in corrals

to brand calves—we may
never live long enough
to repair all the past bravado:

the wild and woolly urgencies
intensified to explode into
crashing crescendos. Instead

we move to a slow routine
sorting cows from calves
who endure the process

               knowing soon
               it will all be over
               and back to grass.


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