Childless in the City
She has no one to tell
about years of slick-wet babies
shivering in mangers until
they were licked dry in stalls, warmed
by rough, comforting tongues—
calves who sucked golden colostrum
from swollen pink udders;
brown Jersey calves, black-lashed eyes,
muzzles sticky with mucilage,
necks with loose folds of flannel skin.
She remembers them mewling like kittens
and old barns full of green sweet timothy hay
but there’s no one to tell.
— first published in “The New Writer” (U.K.)