The Trade

Son, today when I stare at my cupped hands

I remember how as a calf she suckled my fingers;

that sticky trickle of her rough tongue,

how she would follow me around the pen.

Later as a heifer, the energy in her leap and bound

as she came to my first call.

Then motherhood, my hand on her warm flank,

her milk filling pails for both of our children.

When I look into my hands, Jack, I see more

magic in memory than I'll ever get from these beans.

Written by Jim Carruth.

Published in Jim's collection Bale Fire, Polygon, 2019, available from

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