Bio Note: I appreciate Verse-Virtual for giving me a place to share poems from my books which never appeared in journals. So here’s one of them, from More (C&R Press, 2010). Cows are all around where I live, in rural Pennsylvania, but I actually wrote this one in Virginia, during a stay at an artist colony (The VCCA). Who knows when or if it will ever be safe to return to a colony again, but it was heaven while it lasted. My “regular job” has been as caregiver for my son, who has autism, so this was a lovely escape every couple of years.
I’m walking down a gravel road past cows in the green fields, whose teeth make a kind of music slowly chewing their way across the meadow. The black one with the white face reminds me of a girl from school, the way she rounded her shoulders trying to hide her bulk as she shoveled in lunch, the way she looked middle-aged at fourteen, chins gleaming as if she’d been grazing on buttercups, her cardigans, flowered dresses, sensible shoes. But I saw her at the last reunion, and she’d lost the weight, stepped out of that old life and into another. Anything can happen. A cow can grow wings, become an American Redstart, flit black-and-white from tree to tree. A woman can lean on a rusty fence and get tired of wishing things would change. But I don’t want to change a thing. I want to keep walking this stony path, listening to dried leaves in the beech tree, insects playing their strings in the grass. I want the sun to run down my face like honey. I want the wind to kiss me. I want all this to last.
©2020 Barbara Crooker
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