Music for the Cows by Jon Johnson.
From the collection Mixed Voices, edited by Emilie Buchwald and Ruth Roston.
What a fun, playful little poem.
Farmers are practical people, all night
in the barn the radio on.
in their stalls the cows listening to
the music for their lives. the butterfat
increasing, the yield increasing.
grain dust does its dance on the old radio.
hard bodied insects rise into the winged life,
a great changing of clothes. our bodies too
shed and we go out in only our soul.
the older we get the more we long for
a music without words. so much
is left behind. in the morning
the phone rings. it is a neighbor saying
the cows are in her flowers.