Today's poem is by Victoria Brockmeier

Cow Tipping

you'd never think they'd tumble
the way they do, tame as a vase of sunflowers
knocked off a table, or how heavy

the sound is, how complex—you feel it
in your ribs as shoulder hits the earth

before haunch. how long they take
getting up. how their eyes give back
the whole moon, the shabby clouds

tearing themselves up to get to dawn,
& they have to heave themselves up,

give it a couple tries. the grasses pulse
with crickets, katydids, fingernail-sized frogs,
all that come on, come on swimming in mist,

then upwards, & you'd never know. unless you resist
the adrenaline & step back only a few feet

after pushing, hard, at that angus bulk—
you'll never feel your hands tingle, palms
printed with bristly hair, never notice how the hide

is cold with dew at first but instantly
warm beneath, instantly mammal,

never get the shock in your wrists
from toppling a near half-ton of muscle
wrapped over bone. you have to hold yourself

in air that slips across your skin
like charmeuse, let your shoes

sink into the turf a little as the head
swings around, drunk with broken sleep
like any animal, puffing out rank milk breath.

when it finally gains its hooves,
it could charge, pulp your suddenly fleshy frame,
that weight could shatter your clavicle like a branch
split away from a log & already chewed
by termites. you'd never see, though,

unless you hung around, how after it rises
it only shuffles its hocks through the pasture,

the mist, the hasty, winged bugs,
to surround itself with luminous, breathing backs.

Copyright © 2005 Victoria Brockmeier All rights reserved
from Chelsea
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved