She calved in the ravine, beside
the green-scummed pond.
Full clouds and mist hung low—
it was unseasonably warm. Steam
rose from her head as she pushed
and called; her cries went out
over the still-lush field.

First came the front feet, then
the blossom-nose, shell-pink
and glistening; and then the broad
forehead, flopping black ears,
and neck . . . . She worked
until the steaming length of him
rushed out onto the ground, then
turned and licked him with her wide
pink tongue. He lifted up his head
and looked around.

The herd pressed close to see, then
frolicked up the bank, flicking
their tails. It looked like revelry.
The farmer set off for the barn,
swinging in a widening arc
a frayed and knotted length of rope.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 3 Number 5, on page 40
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