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Picture 10925368, painting by Sir John Arnesby Brown, image copyright Mary Evans / Medici

Unpasteurized
by E. E. Nobbs

 

Coincidentally, the boss cow

had been named Queenie

as a newborn calf.

She was old

when I knew her

deciding when they’d

move to another patch of grass

or find a patch of shade,

lie down and chew their cud.

She’d lead the others, walking

single file to the pasture

after morning milking then back

the same red dirt path

for the second milking

in the evening and yet again

to a nearby field

at night. All I did was open

and close the gates.

She had crooked horns,

fawn coloured with white patches

though I don’t have a photo

and my memory’s sketchy. A white star

perhaps on her forehead.

 

This was a long time ago, before

stainless steel bulk tanks. The times

of galvanized metal buckets, a whirring

separator … I could go on.

Skim milk fed to the sows. The sweet smell

of newborn piglets.

 

Cream cans, Dad took in the pickup truck

to the nearby butter factory. The chipped

ceramic blue pitcher. Always cream

left over for desserts – bread pudding,

tapioca or rice, apple crisp. My favourites.

 

 

© E. E. Nobbs

Picture 10925368, painting by Sir John Arnesby Brown, image copyright Mary Evans / Medici

 

 

E.E. Nobbs lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Details about her poetry chapbook, The Invisible Girl (Doire Press, 2013), and links to her online poems, can be found at: https://ellyfromearth.wordpress.com and on Twitter at @ellyfromearth

 

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