A Cow's Life, Winter
by Priscilla Turner Spada

Along the foothills behind the house and barns,
inky firs, and willows, hug the farm.

Sketchy branches zigzag nearer still,
reaching down toward the snow-covered fields.

Cold cows, like statues in the empty meadow,
look perplexed, frozen beside their shadows.

They forage absently, pick at scrub brush,
nibble meager brittle grasses' tufts.

Soon they'll ramble back at end of day,
in sunset's pale pink light, toward home and hay.

Already someone's turned their beds of straw,
renewed their maize treats, filled their water troughs.

Huddled together, they'll keep each other warm,
until the dawn when they are freed to roam.

At this moment, the cows seem lost in time–
dreaming, wishing, for a warmer clime?

I knew this life, up-country, years ago
when winters seemed they never would let go.


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