by Joyce Sutphen
I know how the cow's head turns
to gaze at the child in the hay aisle;
I know the way the straw shines
under the one bare light in the barn.
How a chicken pecks gravel into silt
and how the warm egg rests beneath
the feathers—I know that too, and
what to say, watching the rain slide
in silver chains over the machine
shed's roof. I know how one pail
of water calls to another and how
it sloshes and spills when I walk
from the milk-house to the barn.
I know how the barn fills and
then empties, how I scatter lime
on the walk, how I sweep it up.
In the silo, I know the rung under
my foot; on the tractor, I know
the clutch and the throttle; I slip
through the fence and into the woods,
where I know everything: trunk
by branch by leaf into sky.
please note: photo by Ron and Kay Weber