Calving season (the good, bad, and ugly)


O the joyous wonder of this sunlit morning

to watch new spring calves cavorting together

sprinting across the dirt yard, tails held high,

playing tag between their mooing mamas and

stopping suddenly for a warm satisfying nip.


O the awe-full agony in that moonless night

to see a cow laboring to birth a calf turned wrong

coming with back feet first, needing human help in

pulling out with hope a live calf, followed by horror

of bloody uterus and desperate heaving to push it inside.


Next day, wife asks, “How’s the calf?” and farmer answers,

“Lonesome…with no one to lick him off.”




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