Gathering round

Freedom to roam

I like the cattle round the house.
They look at me like citizens
rather than supplicants:
They gather at my home
on its upthrust of bedrock
as if for companionable gossip
at the back door.Wakey wakey
Calum, my neighbour, as a kid,
used to have to enter the crofthouse door
under the bellies of the housecows
gathered where his mother used to feed them
much as she feed her own children.
In fact the horse used to stretch her
neck through the window to eat from the table.
Morag grazes a few feet from my workplace,Workmates
oblivious to the sound of power tools:
lazily affronted when I address her
she tolerates my importuning.
Demi-Og’s wee boy, a friendly adventurer
is now making puny assaults
on Floras broad arse.
The idyll must end – it’s time
to wean this year’s calves.
Separate mothers from babies
and boys from girls.
The farm will ring with lamentation:
old Morag knows this as she studies me


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