Already in the drowned field they are fishing out
the last of the herd, white necks resting on the trunk
of the stunted mulberry they stood under during rains,
its red and black berries just inches from their lips
as if their appetites reached in that direction.
In life their flood went downward: into grass, the shear
of each green blade that made the cud inside them sharper, the
rumination of those fortunate to survive
until suddenly they are dead. And we watch it from our house.
Even on dry land, the news is never like we were promised, the fruit
never close enough that we can eat. And the owners to come next
will always wonder whether we too suffered much before the blow.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 1.
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