Today's poem is by John Kinsella


Tracy first saw this "breed"
at the Nevers fair in Burgundy
solid, low-slung bulls
she was slightly afraid of.

The neighbour here has been
separating his Charolais calves
from their Charolais mothers,
adjectives of (the town) Charolles.

In the exotica of flesh,
the genetics of French beef
are in demand. The shed
these Charolais are trapped in

is a boutique on the edge
of the village. A cow
knocks down a panel
blocking the window

and her head comes through
the concrete frame, searching
for the calf I saw being carted off
she was lured back from a dash

into the field with a handful
of grain, but now she is calling
up an echo that rattles bones,
would add words to dictionaries

in all languages if we could
transcribe beyond howl,
bellow, wail, holler
bawl, yell or roar.

This "separation" and her call
are an onomatopoeia
more precise than the church bell
which is less relentless.


They are a fair-coated cow
when out of sheds and under
the sun-green fields
igniting beneath their hooves.

Copyright © 2016 John Kinsella All rights reserved
from Five Points
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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