(04 October 1943 / Germany)

Cow Eyes

And who I ask you academic minds
would find the eyes of cows attractive
most humans would consider putting blinds
to cover bovine faces, though they are pro-active
in their own way, most notably the udder
on those occasions that they have been freshly cleaned
and, thinking back to my own farm I often shudder
how hard it was to raise a calf until it's weaned.

It was the State of Washington, the weather lousy
and bugs would visit unsuspecting little calves
the frigid winds blew in and pushed around the drowsy
young critters and we used so many medicines and salves
yet many died, of the pneumonia bug and also scours.

I well remember that it often broke their mother's heart
when in the foggy, lonely often deadly morning hours
another one fell over, cutting short a very hopeful start.

But what I never will forget is how those homely eyes
took on a sad and melancholy look of real pain
each time a little one was finished, and had stopped its cries
it felt, to all as if a cruel bovine devil suddenly had slain
a child of innocence, so cute and full of utter need
it was those sad occasions when we all were fools,
such helplessness, but we could see, indeed
the mix of Friesan, Holstein and those Jersey jewels.
You may prefer those often mentioned Spanish eyes
so full of Southern heat and spirit of the roaming sun
and if you do you have not ever caught the look, so wise
of one sad mother cow, who thinks 'what have they done'.

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Comments (4)

This one brought a tear to my own rheumy eye. My experience was with my dog when her puppies smothered in a dirt cave she had unwisely hidden them in. She cried real tears then and it was heartbreaking. Jane
It is so sad to see any animal die....we think they don't understand but they understand more thn we do. nice write Herbert!
I have written a poem about cow's Herbert, called 'Milking time', I don't know if you have read it, but I mention eyes in that, they have such lovely eyes, so feminine and pleading really. It's the eyelashes that are so wonderful. I find them very attractive. Sincerely Ernestine.
This is very sad Herbert. True experience? sincerely, mary