My friend, son of a dairy farmer, said
His dad was going hard, as per usual,
and damn it if he didn’t blow out his appendix
Which was so perfect a line
that I had to start this poem with it.
His wife cleans up real pretty like Taylor Swift
but she’s a veterinarian and more likely
To be up to her elbows in a laboring cow
with shit on her boots and blood on her Carhartts.
It’s too cold and icy across the Midwest.
Missouri feels like Manitoba, and the steers
Huddle like musk oxen freezing whatever
they have left to freeze off. Their breath
Coalesces into ice fog, a little snowstorm
between their frosted backs and the north wind.
And the hills are black and white like Holsteins.