Our heifers are calving and the cows are due to start any day now.
The tanker began collecting milk a couple of weeks ago, though it’s only coming every couple of days.
Apropos of that and in the wake of Montana Poetry Day which was celebrated last week, I offer this view of milking which is generally considered a fairly prosaic business.
And wet and shiny as rocks in an ebbing tide:
But they smell of the soil, as leaves lying under trees
Smell of the soil, damp and steaming, warm,
The shed is an island of light and warmth, the night
Was water-cold and starless out in the paddock.
Crouched on the stool, hearing only the beat
The monotonous beat and hiss of the smooth machines,
The choking gasp of the cups and rattle of hooves,
How easy to fall asleep again, to think
Of the man in the city asleep; he does not feel
The night encircles him. The grasp of mud.
But now the hills in the east return, are soft
And grey with mist, the night recedes, and the rain.
The earth as it turns towards the sun is young
Again, renewed, its history wiped away
Like the tears of a child. Can the earth be young again
And not the heart? Let the man in the city sleep.
– Ruth Dallas –