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   p i r o u e t t e    d u    v a c h e

--- S H A W N   L Y N N   W A L K E R

			- for PF

I have often aspired to be the sudden leap of a cow. Field cow, Jersey girl. Cow that runs the length of her electric fence to keep up with passersby. Cow that will look at you. Cow that loves a light summer rain. Sudden joyous leap and bellow. Cow of my memory, cow that refreshes my mind when the boom box cars crowd the intersection; when the couple at the next table carries on, loudly and insistently, banal conversation ruining my delicious Chinese dinner of string beans and imitation beef; when the owner of the café plays without warning some riotous and punching music while I am reading and thinking delicate thoughts. Cows do not cause noise pollution, and frankly, I find their smell very comforting. Lovely, ungainly cows that run and leap and bellow and cross small streams in their landscape. Cows that ponder and chew steadily through the weather, until some excitement flings a thrill to the tip of a tail. For I am talking about the cows one finds dancing along back roads in the country, and not the cows that live in the barn along the pike, standing heavily in their own shit across the street from the strawberry farm. No, I did not mean to bring up the cramped cows, those sad cows which collect silence, produce milk, and make me uncomfortable. No, this is not an activist poem. This is about me. Me and my aspirations. If morning were longer, I would write a longer poem about the cow that I love and have often aspired to be. The beautiful, sudden, joyous leap of some huge cow. Some enormous, awkward-looking, irregularly spotted hulk of udder and angular protrusion, transformed in communion with the early-evening exerciser in the sunset. She leaps. She leaps and twists. She bellows and approaches the fence.

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