A Determined Farmer And His Family Load The Last Heifer — By Greg German


Tail-twisting to the far side

of the pasture the last heifer

never looks back.

The loading chute empties.

The farmer’s son claims

no fault, spins his Yamaha

ready for a 2-wheeled rodeo.

His mother, her hair half-tangled

with patience, her boots

lathered with shit, shouts

toward the heifer, gives her men

a ripped-shirt speech

of compassion

because it’s part of her

job. The farmer swears,

and because he is not a cowboy

rides his horse however he can,

CO-OP cap on backwards.

Together, the farmer

and his son chase the beast

along a mile of fence,

uphill, down

hill, across a pond dam,

places no cow has ever

been before.

Aware of space, the farmer’s son

twists the throttle

deep through his hand. Aware

of what’s between

his legs

the farmer holds on

for his life. The horse,

bored with the luggage

on its back, enjoys it all

because he has sense,

does everything

but shut the gate

to a second-wind kink

in a cow’s tail that spins

the last heifer back

to the further side of its world.

~ Greg German

Originally Published in Kansas Quarterly, 1993 V.24, #4

Greg German was born and raised near Glen Elder, in north central Kansas, where he farmed with his family for many years. He currently lives in Kansas City, Kansas, with his wife Regina and son, Alden. He is a private consultant specializing in web site development, special project consulting, and photography. (www.limestone9consulting.com) He holds a B.A. degree in English/Creative writing and a B.S. in Education from Kansas State University. Greg developed and maintains http://www.kansaspoets.com, a website unique to Kansas Poets. Gregs poetry and personal essays have appeared in over 50 literary journals across the U.S.

Matthew David Manning holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and Pittsburg State University. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review. He recently became a father and has been enjoying his transition into high school education at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, KS.

Editor’s Note: What can I say? I’m a sucker for poems with cows in them. Greg has written a poem with a heifer that has seen some shit (besides what mom has on her boot).


One thought on “A Determined Farmer And His Family Load The Last Heifer — By Greg German

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s