The arrangement of this moment depends
upon the speed at which I move through the landscape
and the herd of angry farmers in the field
putting down the fevered cattle in the cool
October light of early morning reason. Heat
breeds in their skin, madness blossoms
in their animal brains like greenhouse weeds.
Short life, small windows.
Wild Holsteins across the road turn their heads
and listen, eat grass and gain stamina for the coming
winter which promises to last. Eventually I will
learn their faces, call them by name
and divide them into this herd. And that.
Copyright 2005, Julia Beach
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.