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Long Beach, CA

The Cow Turned its Head (So Wait On Life)

Poetry Blog

The Cow Turned its Head (So Wait On Life)

Brandon Cook

Around the bend, while we chased sunlight
I will remember always the last pasture  
Where three cows sat unaware of anything much spectacular in this dark world
Certainly not, by God, the burning down of earth and sky
Like hope collapsing to endless density, cold and quiet

I waved my camera, quick as I could, fixing its fixtures to take in the world, frame and shutters ready
But it would not work, despite the perfection of orange above me, because  
The damn cow closest us was content at eating grass
And there’s nothing sweet about a bovine ass  
(It’s a cheap rhyme, but there, I’ve said it, I couldn’t let it pass) 
In the center of the frame  
And the other two so far turned, were helpless to help me, as the sky turned dark and the seconds burned  

at the last moment, that cow most close to us—who knows why, God alone— 
Turned its head, sighing or eyeing me, 
I believe he flipped his tail, too, as if to say, “Yeah, I see you" 
And that image of his face made everything else take its place, stand ready, and say “Cheese!”—the sky, the trees, the holy grace  
As not three cow hides but rather three beautiful beasts  
Filled the center of the frame, and one, a perfect quiz upon his face, was an angel to all the rest, as I clicked away 

He, my new friend, quick as cows can move,  
Settled back down to herb and plate, all done
But the sky was through, anyway, as things need to find their boring, brooding pace again

I knew, though, for that moment, that his turning seemed to say, “Be present, wait on life, things will look your way" 
And I could not have loved him more
So grateful for the photo, which sits framed now, on my desk,
And much more for the metaphor