Heather D. Yanda





Evening.  Milking time.  Across the street

cows murmur as they struggle

their overburdened bodies toward the barn.

Comforting, it must be, as the swollen, pink


fruit eases across the snow.

When he comes in, the cows

beckon to him.  He sits by a heavy

flank, hot, steaming from the walk.


The fingers of her udder are at once

rugged and tender.  He can feel the wash

of milk beneath the skin, like oceans

in a globe.


The cow knows him.  She shifts

from one foot to another, careful

not to hurt him, careful

not to kick the bucket over.  She hears


the first seeds of her milk hit the pail; the farmer falls

into his familiar rhythm.  She bows

her head, sighs, and he is bathed

in her steamy exhale.  The wind


picks up.  When the bucket is full, he pulls at his collar

and walks back home, where the warmth

of his fireplace envelopes him with immediacy.  Early

December light remains oddly vivid, pomegranates ripen in the window.

Copyright 2003 Heather D. Yanda.  All Rights Reserved.

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