Sunday, July 6, 2008

I Went to the Barn This Morning

I wrote this to add to MS Stover's piece. Her story inspired me this way. I hope she will join us here as a constant contributor.

The calf was lively
Begging to suck
They always do you know
When taken from their mothers

It was not his choice
It was theirs
They had their reasons
And I took the burden

An infant that weighs eighty pounds
Is no less the infant
And a fragile being
At best

I nursed it from birth
Covered his navel in iodine
Gave him a name
And tended to him
But there's just something
About the absence of a mother

I went to feed at noon

I had been raking hay all morning
Thinking of the winter ahead
And the other animals to feed
Maybe I should have checked sooner

The calf lay wheezing on it's side
It's eyes already milky with death
My heart sank at the sight

I set down my bottle of milk
And bucket of feed
I placed it's head in my lap
And cuddled it's neck and talked softly
As it passed.

My eyes were wet
As I left the barn
But I wiped them dry
On my shirt sleeve
Before I went into the house
For supper

1 comment:

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

How sad; even for a farmer who has probably seen death in so many ways, many times. Lovely writing. Petra