Thursday, February 20, 2014

The stories they could tell

Upon a rise at Elk Cliff Farm she views her grazing herd
They do not know she watches, not goat, nor hog, nor bird.
For what she dreams and what she knows, is hers within to dwell
But now and then she'll spin a yarn.  The truth?  She'll never tell.

He belches up his morning cud, eyelids heavy as he chews
What rambles through a caprine’s mind a soul can only muse.
For what he’s seen and what he knows, this buck whose scent I smell
I’ve asked him once and sometimes twice, alas, he’ll never tell.

She’s wise and brave, the guardian, her loyalties run deep
At dusk and dawn the coyotes howl, she hears them in her sleep.
But what she stalks and what she’s slayed, what’s heard her solemn knell
Only wild things that mean to prey but they’re not here to tell.

Oh rooster with your chest so broad, what pride you do project
You strut and crow, put on a show, your girls you must protect
Our home would be much quieter without your GOOD MORNING yell
But our farm’s not a farm without you, and that I’m here to tell.

She may be large and cause you fright, her size can’t be ignored
Her snout alone can move the earth, but still she is adored
Sometimes I think she’s smiling, her grunts sing "all is well"
But does she ponder death?  That’s hers alone to tell.

Perhaps she feels assaulted as I steal her calf’s sweet fare
Yet she stands without protesting as if she doesn’t care
I squeeze and pull and thank her, this cow who wears a bell
But does she love or hate me, in truth, I cannot tell.

A donkey is misunderstood, a stubborn thing, we say
But safety is her first concern, she will not bolt or stray
Her ears are like antennas,  alert for the warning bell
But what they hear, those long ears, no one can ever tell

Again she stands and watches as the sun rests 'hind the hill
The chickens find their place inside as shadows bring a chill
A wave of calmness claims her as she waves to all farewell
For life is good at Elk Cliff Farm, and that she's glad to tell.