Gone

Their field empty, clogged with mud
all through these cold, sodden months.
Just a small herd of big-boned cows
fattened hungrily on high summer grass.
White coats blazoned ginger. I see them still
close congregants under the sycamore.
Flick of tails in rhythmic time with busy jaws
the dizzying buzz of flies, and the tick-tick
pulse of an electric fence.

Through many years I, a vicarious butcher
let others wield the hatchet. Bravo
does not suffice to salve the conscience
of this now rueful, re-formed carnivore.

A poem from Shay’s word garden list from the prose poetry of Russell Edson