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Beyond the Fenceline 

A calf bucks, wide-eyed
with horizons of cloud bank
and cool, green dozes or nibbles
of the pastured expanses

His nostrils are a bubbling creek
meeting of nose with sweet clover
and banks lavendered with the
soothing smell of lupine

The calf contrasts like a
brown and white throw rug,
a welcome mat for
bounding, sun-warmed afternoons

He raises his heart to the beat
of chases after barn mates
beyond the pulse and safety
shadowed by his mother's bulging flank

The calf's ears scoop airfulls
of every sound that spring
his hoofs into action
along the puzzlement of fence line

Sounds, of his mother's yank
of grass by the roots
and her steady crunch, and of
the steady "tick," pause, "tick"
static, marking tangled, thin lines

Beyond which, giving pause

The farmer watches, bemused
but grime-encrusted with the knowledge
of the sanctity of these few moments
and the cruel reality contained
in all such movements forward

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Glenn Reed

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