The canyon quiet by the fourth dawn, heads buried
beneath the waves of blond dry grasses, behind spears
of wild oats arching empty husks, first-time mothers
grazing like we expect our perfect world to be.
No plaintive calls, no searching draws, no panicked
pleading to canyon walls for their weaned calves
they have almost forgotten. We are relieved
of guilt, unburdened from their guttural mourning,
the harsh cacophony of maternity, of eighty
broken bonds rasping, wild wailing around us.
Aging skin grows thin imagining the magic
of companionship delivered from the womb,
of nursing, of mothering the first-born and losing it.
Emptiness and sorrow for a lost friend gone,
these cows giving voice to my unusual confusion.