Cows in Winter

I fret about the cows in winter, as my grandmother did about me – put on a coat, you’ll catch your death – as though it’s a thing to be caught. But that’s the logic of fretting. The cows stand insucient as the light snow blankets their backs – tread with impossibly dainty hooves over icy ground that even I with these┬ámonstrous boots slip on. In my daydreams we bring them inside the house, light the fire and thaw them out, warming their wooly coats to the temperature of the cat, and turn the radio on for the evening. But this is unreal – in life I fret, watch their ruminations, their nightly entrance to the barn, their manure for signs of stress. Yet these animals endure, let their bodies change with the seasons – still I imagine in their sleep on their composting bed they dream of pasture, what was, and sometimes, perhaps, of being brought inside.

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