Friday, October 21, 2011

The Cows' Chautauqua

Shredded wheat--the Breakfast of Champion Milkcows--
Is laid out on a meadow-green cloth.
But where are the cows this August morn?
They're off this week to Cow Camp
At Lake Chautauqua
To meditate on the Bovine Mysteries.

How was it that they came to be
The nursemaids of the world,
The foster mothers of so many
Ungrateful children,
Who never call,
Who never visit,
Who never say thanks,
Who just speed by
Without a wave or a glance,
Tossing beer cans
Into their roadside gardens
Of clover and Queen Anne's Lace.

All week long they will celebrate Cowhood
In story and song,
Hearing about Babe and the Blue Ox,
About Elsie and Elmer,
About the First Astronaut
Who cleared the moon in one leap.
About prejudice
And Intolerance (lactose)
And the myth of contentment.
Not to mention the Terrible Truth
About the Bull Market,
And why so many sons and lovers
Were never heard from again.

On Tuesday they will view a slide-show
On India, where cows are sacred.
On Wednesday, they will elect
A new president named Bossie.

Each night they will dine by candlelight
And moo-ed music,
Then retire to write in their journals.
("Dear Dairy," some poor spellers will begin.)

Camp will end on Saturday
In the sixth week of August.
Just before milking time
A cavalcade of cows
Will head back to their barns.
Silently, invisibly
They will go
But none of us will see or notice them
Until school buses roll by in September
And all the cows are out
Standing in their fields.

I've decided to simplify my blogging. I'm keeping LIfe in Merlin and deleting And Deliver Us from Meadville and Free Verse and Worse. This poem is from Free Verse and Worse. I couldn't let this one go.


Nancy said...

This one is excellent! Mind if I post a link to it on my blog and facebook page? I would love to share it with friends!

forsythia said...

Thank you, Nancy. I'd like that.

Debra said...

Simple is always the best way to go! It's something I've been working on too...not blog wise as I just have one blog, but in many other ways!