An Unblinking Gaze

goldenmorning1013181

 

 

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Of all the beasts that God allows
In England’s green and pleasant land,
I most of all dislike the Cows:

Their ways I do not understand.
It puzzles me why they should stare
At me, who am so innocent;
Their stupid gaze is hard to bear —

To country people 
Cows are mild, 
And flee from any stick they throw; 
But I’m a timid town bred child, 
And all the cattle seem to know.
~from “Cows” by T.S. Eliot, published long after his death

 

 

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Raised with Guernsey and Jersey cows
outside my back door,
I sat dreamily
on their bony backs
while dad milked by hand twice a day,
the rhythmic
swoosh swoosh
filling the metal pail
as barn cats circled and purred.

Giving up the dairy,
we raised Scottish Highlanders
of long horn and shaggy hair-
wild and skeptical creatures
who barely tolerated a curry comb
or rub behind the ears.

I know well the unblinking stare of the cow
as they chew their cud and lick their nostrils;
I love their unending interest
in the absurdity
of people,
watching what we do.

I fall
into the deep pool
of their brown eyes
and drown
there willingly,
anchored
by their curious gaze
and why they should choose to care
about me
at all.

 

 

chestnutcows

 

fieldcows9517

4 thoughts on “An Unblinking Gaze

  1. There’s a sweetness about this post that makes me breathe deep and smile. Thank you and have a blessed day.

    Thelma

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I married a guy who had grown up on a farm, he thought it was hilarious that I was put off by the cows’ unblinking stare. Back in the day, I had some pretty one-sided conversations with a gathering of Belted Galloways–they didn’t have much to say either!
    Moving to the country and raising a couple of 4-H kids has brought me up to speed, but I still agree with Eliot.

    Liked by 1 person

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