09.20.2005

How Now Mad Cow

                A farmer poured cow dust

                     down the throat of a cow

                and inside that cow

                        poured a further

                cow still,   as inside   another

                a meal of cows hid

                in smaller cows

                        milled

                into Chinese boxes

                        of bovine   pills

                reduced

                in exactitude

                and removed

                from the granary


                        on the distant hill

                        we remember

                as quiddity

                        inside memory’s

                        veil

                        as the mild cows

                        stilled

               from their quivering

                bells

                are shrink-wrapped

                & placed

                on the grocer’s

                shelf






                   While   elsewhere
               against a green, green hill

               a calf
               of white

                    with spots
                    of brown

               (a construct,

                linguistic
                moment

               in a language
               laden tear)

               lies down               
               in the dirt

               to get up again
               dear,

               mere hunger’s
               syllable

                   under cloud rills

                collection
                of shudders

               against reduction

               gearing

                      to feed
                      the grind

                      and turn the years

David Hickman (© 2005)