THE LENGTH OF SHADOWS

 

 

They have begun to circumambulate new slopes to graze
                    around the house
learning to make their circles between troughs and ponds,
                    forty-five days away
for the first new mothers to lick a calf up to suck
                    for the next nine months.

A week off the irrigated green, they’ve overcome the shock
                    of dry hollow stems
to make a home where we can watch and worry,
                    as is our custom—
we get know them. About a third will make the herd
                    for ten years.

With so much time together, we operate by instinct,
                    you and I,
triggered by well-worn habits, the angle of the sun
                    and the length of shadows
these young girls already know—a second nature
                    we had to learn.

 

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