Loose udders and mucus plugs
signals new life on the grass and clods of dirt.
Lilies dance on water the way flies hover over fresh meat.
A heifer drops its snout into the trough to drink –
not greedily, but more delicately,
sucking on the water in a docile way – fickle for a beast.
Pebbles, clumps of wild grass and cow shit
pattern a track to the paddock where a sabre calf
feasts on the berm of the grid;
lifts its head, turns towards its tail, then stares at me.
Unsteady of his feet, he ambles to his mother
her cries echoing through the valley –
carrying that sound like some heavy burden.
From the verandah, I hear the shaking of wooden spoons in pots.
It’s time for breakfast – sweet, sticky black rice.