Five Days: A Poetry Challenge


My Facebook feed brought me a challenge this morning: post five poems in five days. Bear with me: this is the only place I can figure out how to do it.

I’ll start with a poem about long-held dreams that may never come true, but which prove themselves impossible to let go of.


No Cow. Every Day No Cow.

I go to the front door wearing my expectancy
like a shirt I’ve owned for years: this is the day,
I think. Every time I go to the door I think
this is the day the sweet-faced Hereford,
the Jersey, the Belted Galloway will at last appear
in my front yard, between the dark red salvia
and the Copper Canyon daisy, chewing,
wise, looking up at me, glad to be here.
Or even out the back door, why not? Up the one
broad step to the cedar deck, or out
by the rock-rimmed raised beds where
feathered nandina set berries out to shine
red-lantern-like all winter. Every day I go out
with the watering can, expecting,
knowing this will be the day.

I try not to take it personally.
I try not to think about how,
not far from here, in hill country pastures and up
beside long ranch houses cows stand
chewing, or lie in steamy bunches
waiting for rain, or celebrate breaches
in the barbed wire fence that runs for miles
without one place for a cow to get through;
and then one split, one break, one space
and a cow breaks out, breaks through.
For sure she’d find her way to me.
For sure today will be the day.


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