January in Central Missouri

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.


About Ray Sharp

Father, poet, triathlete, local public health planner
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7 Responses to January in Central Missouri

  1. Your images are terse, taut, and taunting.

  2. Simon Kindt says:

    That is certainly a great line.

  3. Ray Sharp says:

    Reblogged this on The Bard of Liminga and commented:

    Winter’s blowin’ in for real across the Plains tonight

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