FEBRUARY 2020

 

 

Another cold dry front
rests upon the tops of hills,
shapeless clouds, a haze
upon steep south slopes,
red clay like brick—
green pales to gray

               as we brand calves
               one by one
               we may sell early
               with their mothers.

I brace against the familiar
drama, growing numb

               as my stiff new rope
               slides through the palm
               of time’s softened hand,
               warming as it searches
               for my frayed
               wrapped-cotton horn.

               I quote my elders
               dead and gone
               as they visit
               the branding pen.

Don’t worry, Dofflemyer,
               E. J.’d say.
It’s gonna rain.

It takes years to get here
with cows we like—
unwritten contracts
they understand

               as we discuss
               our options
               of who goes first
               and who gets what’s left
               of hay.

Of the two of us,
I am the dreamer
and believer—

a luxury
you have allowed me
               facing facts
as I grow gray.

                              for Robbin

 

5 responses to “FEBRUARY 2020

  1. John, I’ve enjoyed your writing for the last 10 years or so This one’s a favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it when you quote my John! We can use those even today. Up the hill, Pard!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Time softened hands and more; a luxury indeed. All good.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A good one to recite every season.

    Liked by 1 person

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