I did not drive the roan that day,
Just saddled up my old dark bay,
To check out fences far afield
And breathe in life with all its yield.
Near border’s end I came upon
A fresh, dead cow down by the pond.
I wondered why it had died here
With water and spring grass so near.
I spurred my horse and reined away
But something said that I should stay—
I creaked down from my saddle’s reach
And saw the cow had died in breech.
I knew they should be buried soon,
By light of day or dark of moon.
I left them there, that calf and cow
And rode back home in thought somehow.
I had forgot that scene of death
Till summer quickly took my breath
And once again I passed that shell
Of twisted skin and faded smell.
The worms had done their work it seems
On frenzied flesh and faltered dreams.
Yet, still I stared like at a grave—
Thought how we took but seldom gave.
Then autumn came and tinted trees
With colors each low creature sees.
So on my horse I sought them out,
To answer what this life’s about.
A mute Madonna—sticks of bone,
Still nestled there so all alone.
We live and die, the season’s dawn,
We’re all breech born before we’re gone.
In winter’s wind the world turns cold
As cow and calf and man grow old.
Yet, now there’s no sinew or hide
To hint of life or what’s inside.
Death’s passion passed and so did I
To pay respects and say goodbye.
For man and beast all die as kin—
I will not ride this trail again.
Copyright © Glen Enloe | Year Posted 2005
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