Covenant
by Laura L. Snyder


The gray barn anchors the old pasture
where cows fly in dreams. They rise up
out of the flower beds and lawn to tether
their bulk to the rectangle of my house and
move its mass without a twitch. They demand

to set things straight, get their pasture back,
if only for the night. Their bellied wails
against the old fruit trees
announce their great cowness,
remind the moon of the ancient rights of kine.
Crotchety cows divide pansies

from bitter chrysanthemum, indignant
at the sacrilege to each choice plant.
They mourn this spot where once was marsh,
the good deep wallow, mud of salvation,
stink of water over blue glacial clay.
Before morning breaks dreams, bilious gases

bloom and clover springs sweet enough
to lighten the sourest disposition. The barn
watches it all, shifts a hip and settles in
to wait for the next resurrection, strings
of cows faithful and true.





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