114. Mobile #Twenty-One

West of El Dorado a windmill spins its rusty

flower in an air that might be dreaming Dakota.

A tanker rounds the bend with its flexible load

of fire as new grass deepens a prairie pasture

where forty cows graze, muzzle deep in growth.

A black Baldy raises her face to bawl out a call

for the calf taken from her side. She gets no joy

from her cropping, her big baby hauled off to

Whitewater’s feedlot to grow thick in the stink

of a thousand of his kind. The black cow bawls

again, then lowers her head to the new grass.

The tanker shifts gears, wisps of exhaust smoke

trailing away, the sky inhaling the black breath

of the Peterbilt, its fat tires spinning over

the blue trail past the cows to the Whitewater

bridge and west past the feedlot where the calf

noses grain, his hooves splayed in the muck.

A buzzard rides the air that wafts the stink

and spins the windmill’s rusty flower and fans

the black cow in her distress west of El Dorado.

— Steven Hind

Steven Hind divides his time between Hutchinson where he taught for three decades and the family farm on the eastern edge of the Flint Hills near Madison.  His collection, The Loose Change of Wonder, was selected as a 2007 Kansas Notable Book.


2 thoughts on “114. Mobile #Twenty-One

  1. This makes me miss the rusty screech of the windmill, as well as the best taste in the world – fresh, cold well water laden with minerals. Nice presence of Kansas ranch-life/death.

  2. Poems about places I’m well familiar with generally resonate with me, and this one is no exception. This is a “blast from the past.”

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