LOW THE COWS

Mason County Coco the Cow

All day a clear sky.

And then suddenly (it seems) at four o’clock—

A fleet of thin, white clouds trespasses from the north.

Stealthy and silent—ethereal submarines in the sky—

They slowly, steadily head south.

Slow-going, more keep coming.

Infiltrating the vast blue.

Gathering gradually—and in no hurry—they pass under the radar.

Underneath the sun.

As the sun drops westward, it catches them in its sacrificial light. 

Tinted blood-red, the dying day shreds the clouds into wisps of twilight.

And the sky is no longer blue.

No longer daytime blue.

But rather, deep royal blue.

The deep, black-blue of night.

Decimating the fleet of clouds.

And the moon, a silver shaving, takes over.

And—accompanied by the Evening Star—holds court.

The court will come to order.

All rise.

All be seated.

And everyone settles into their beds.

All is quiet.

But wait.

There is a noise.

At midnight.

Dark sky.

Not much moon.

Abundant stars.

No clouds.

No wind.

No rain.

Only lonely lowing.

Bellowing.

Pleading.

Begging for mercy.

Mama cows mournfully call to their young.

Their calves taken from them.

Driven into separate pens to be sold to the highest bidder.

Their bewildered, desperate plea.

Please let us do what mothers do.

O the agony of nurturing and protection thwarted. 

Is separation every easy?

Is it ever the right time?

The best time?

Yet it must be.

The umbilical cord must be cut.

The newborn set free.

But also separated from the mother.

Nature’s law.

Yet invisible bonds remain.

Unbreakable.

Unfathomable.

Unending.

Forever and ever.

Amen.

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