Song Cycle, (1), Cow

She is old, but new to old age. She lives alone. She hasn’t always lived alone, but now she lives alone in a farmhouse, an ocean away from her birth. The paint peels away from the clapboards, sometimes floating away on the breeze, like peony petals or fluffy flakes of snow. The house seems closed-up, uninhabited. Only a profusion of carefully tended blooms deny this impression. And the cow, a docile guernsey, an old guernsey, that grazes near the side of the house. Somewhere, in the grass and clover, perhaps behind the house, is the rubble of beams and roofing from when the barn caved in. 


Ever resourceful, Silvia moves the cow to the porch. At her kitchen table, Silvia drinks tea and reads through papers, stopping to reference a book from the unruly stack on hand. She takes off her glasses, and pushes back her green vinyl chair. With a slight shift of her head, Silvia turns to greet her doe-eyed guernsey, as she nuzzles past the flapping screen at the kitchen window. On the counter, the golden milk has been set out to clabber.

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