Summer 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 3/4 Poetry |

O’Dowd’s Fields

Through endless fields we walked,   through mocking prairie grass wedded among the bells of goldenrod raining from hedgerows,   where three lame sheep banded against the ledge of clouds, clouds that rang   the hillside round with husking hallelujah songs. I walked with a man,   hurtled myself was more like it, him more patient than I and kind; I know, he told me so. He wore a black coat   of tarpaulin, the leather collar seeping brown   into his neck, the color coupled with his skin, his throat flared roses in the fallow light, his hand   a country in my hand, a whipping pulse   against my abdomen. The man said, do you know whose fields these are,   and I said, no. These are O'Dowd's fields, he said, do you know how you can tell,   and I said, no. He said, look at these cows, they are O'Dowd cows,   and do you know how you can tell that,   and I said, no, all I see are fat black Angus cows lazing 

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