Tuesday, April 26, 2022

#214. or, Backwards Calf (a poem)

  Inspiration seems to be slightly out of my grasp these days. I think it's stress thing. It's been a trying last few years. But I didn't really write this to tell you that. 

  I do not know why, but more often than not, poetic verses seem to blunder into my brain when I'm right in the middle of barn chores. They're just there all of the sudden, like a cow smacking you across the face with a shitty tail. Which I am often surprised and grateful for, but can also be somewhat inconvenient when I drop what I'm doing and run to the giant whiteboard in the warm room to jot these thoughts down before they wisp away, back into the nothingness they came from. 

  Also, there's nothing about being smacked in the face with a shitty tail that I'm grateful for. 

  I'm also fortunate that my wife does not mind those same barn chores taking extra time on inspiration days because I'm not hauling my end of the load. And it kinda feels good when I drag her in asking, "here, can you read this?" just to see if what I wrote makes sense to someone other than me and I can tell she's smiling while I'm watching the back of her head. 

  So, here's an effort. It is what it is......

Backwards Calf

I pulled a calf, was backwards, 

standing in the womb.

I didn't have a lot of confidence, 

mostly doom and gloom.

There were no toes that I could see, 

and I began to wonder.

But I saw the cow's tail swish, and a smaller one,

from a little more down under.

So in I dove, with rolled up sleeves, 

to extricate this mess.

To alleviate this cow, to set at ease, 

her obvious distress. 

We fought a fight, this calf and I,

seems he did not want to leave.

And every time I was almost there,

the cow'd unhelp me with a heave.

Now I've pulled some calves in my day,

I think I've learned a thing or two.

But it crossed my mind, that this here calf,

might be my cattle kobayashi maru.

I was nearly spent, played out and tired,

thinking I had no way to win.

When I slipped a chain, accidentally,

upon his right rear limb.

We worked together, the calf and me,

and that cow locked in the squeeze.

Until two feet were poking out,

first his toes, then ankles, then knees.

From that point on, it did not take long,

to jack that calf out onto the ground.

Till he's laying there, flip flopping slime,

on me and all around.

And that's my job, when it's calving time,

and I guess that now you know.

That once in a while, and on some of those days,

I'm up to my neck in cow.


  1. Hiya Ken! As a Star Trek, may I just say how much I appreciate your "cattle kobayashi maru" imagery?

    1. Star Trek *fan* of course. Jeez, I leave you one comment per year and I still screw it up, LOL!

    2. Hey Debra! Funny story. That particular verse did not exist in my original version of this poem. It wasn't until the term "cattle kobayashi maru" struck me out of the blue, and was just too good not to use, that I had to write a verse around it and wedge it in someplace. I will try to give you more reason to practice your commenting.