After the birthing of the calf,
I wanted to hold her four-legged
tipsy body in my arms, then
leash her to me for what
could be twenty years of life
rather than two or three
on a commercial farm. I wanted
to keep her with me so she would
avoid all of the unsayable things
we plot against cows.
Even before the calf’s mother
sang in the pain of labor,
even before the mother cow
marveled at her own image
in her new baby, both of their lives
were set for human needs.
What I really want to say is this:
there are some animals we care for
and some we do not. Of course,
I include humans in this word animal.
Perhaps there is a way to see each other
with love in all of us, in our eyes, in our fur,
in our hides, in our muzzles, on our hooves,
watching the sky and Earth, smelling
the air for the coming winter.