Listening to every heart
Fall Sunset - Chapter 4
What a time for birth and death. Fall calves
born for some. Winter harvest begun.
Summer morns cool and afternoons
hot hot hot. No more mugginess,
The day starts once again. We haggle
over deciding if this is the best time of
year. Could be. Depends. Was spring and
summer OK? Was it bone dry? Was it too wet?
Did we have a choice either way? No.
But did we do OK with what was given us?
Husbandís in to grass management.
Move cows here for 30 days. There for 30 days.
Too hot for there, move back here so cool, soft
windmill pumped water can quench the throat
and fill the bellies. Let Ďem have all the pasture,
watch them go belly deep in the pond,
chase the frogs around. Leave the summer pasture
and check on the winter pasture.
Native grass. Kansas grass. Ground never turned over.
Virgin. Clean. Glistening. Indians and other things
were here. Iím here. Youíre here.
Ice-cream grass seven foot high.
Covering my head. Enveloping. Thank God Iím
not totally claustrophobic. Look up past golden heads of
seed into blue, blue, blue.
One lone white cloud scutters by.
Short stem blue. Long stem blue.
Turkey foot grass. Turkey feathers.
Red Sumac. Late wildflowers, short and tall.
Will the grass be enough for fall? For all?
Winter feed in. Know, because hedge trees are
gold. Cottonwood too. Colors ranging from
yellow to red to orange to golden blazes.
Roundup. Dust. Long sleeved cowboys on bowed
legs with jittery horses ready to bring them up the
road. Calves sensing what? Cows knowing routine.
Cows come home to winter pasture.
Calves to market for fattening. McDonalds or Prime?
And the cowboys around some beer tell jokes better
if the wife of the husband of the ranch isnít around.
So the wife, me, comes atop the hill, that one from spring,
and am enveloped in a whole other world, again.
The seasons are still aíchanging
in the midwest
and no one sunset is ever the same.
Tonight the cooler air blows stronger, blowing
in the winter. Cottonwood leaves skittering
across the pasture, hitting across the grass stems,
scattering the seeds.
Look there, toward the west. Long shadows
making me a giant over Godís acre.
Iím a caretaker only.
To watch His golden light frame dark vertical clouds,
low in the sky
lowering a little more slowly
cows mooing, calling their babes all gone,
Words will always express our feelings true.