I spent more time in the barns than my sibs
not sure why but found them interesting
also I always had a pet goat I had to sit
astride her to trim her hoofs no crags
to wear them off it meant though that I
put her to bed nightly so I was alone in our
barn when I heard a faint bleat from a nearby
stall found a premature calf: my dad came
down explained the problem of spontaneous
abortion. Also one twenty-below night I
discovered a cow down with little hooves
poking from her vagina my dad came out;
neither of us could birth the calf I ran for
my brother the three of us managed the delivery
like the folk tale of pulling up the turnip
but the calf was dead the mother suffered
birthing paralysis we banked her with straw
coats blankets she was tended for days but
the cold did not let up or she could have been
propped up in a frame possibly recovered I
checked her daily after school till she was
gone my grampa said at my tears "when
there's livestock there's dead stock"

2022 Jacqueline Jackson

Illinois Times has provided readers with independent journalism for more than 40 years, from news and politics to arts and culture.

Now more than ever, we’re asking for your support to continue providing our community with real news that everyone can access, free of charge.

We’re also offering a home delivery option as an added convenience for friends of the paper.

Click here to subscribe, or simply show your support for Illinois Times.

Got something to say?
Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment