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Farmer Poems, Farming Poems, Farm Poetry

( 2 Votes )


the bag that nourished the calf's life
is wrapped tightly around its head
taking away the gift
the man rips it off
lifts the 80 pounds of flaccid flesh
swings it in an arc
his primordial cry echoing down the hill
breathe   breathe
the heifer   frightened
bolts across the corral
mills in with other heifers
awaiting their birthing rite
the woman runs
to her husband
watches as he pushes on the rib cage
willing the heart to beat
she kneels by the too still calf
starts mouth-to-mouth
one hand over the nostrils
the other under the chin
holding the mouth
open to hers   she blows
feels the lungs inflate
again she blows
and again
till the breath comes on its own
the man reaches for a straw
pokes the purple nostrils
till the calf sneezes
it shakes its head
trembles in the bedding straw
they cut the heifer out of the group
chase her up to her calf
she sniffs and licks
and the calf's first 'maaaa'
like music
surrounds them
as they walk down the hill together


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