New Poem

Cows at Richardson’s Farm

They are dumb,
I think.
All those years behind
gates and stalls,
Eating silage.
Getting milked.
listening to the voices
of feeders and milkers,
recovering phrases
the way mothers
overhear conversations
that rise from the backseat of the car.
What do cows do? My son asks.
They live out there in the green fields.
All they have to do is eat grass
and moo all day
and take care of their babies,
I say.
And maybe that’s all
kids in back seats
need to know
about what we do--
we give milk
we have babies
we stand up a lot
we give ice cream
and look at the big sky
all day.

Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil


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