Cows in the Evening

She’s unsatisfied
the wild night shift
brings out coyotes
I know a blue song
when I recognize it
prize of conviction
a bovine torment
I hear heartbreak
a history of family
social bonds tied
up by the farmers
there’s lots to eat
that’s not enough
in an open valley
of slippery woods
no words just tone
easy to distinguish
she’s been places
in her small world
big butter for their
american dreams
the herd is silent
they feel troubles
don’t know what to
do about theirs
or her own

Copyright © 2022 by Nikki Wallschlaeger. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 28, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.