- only the hooves have come out so far - tells me: Pull!
The cow jumps and bellows, the calf seems to resist,
my arms are hurting. It's no use, my father cries
but I strain at the rope until my hands burn.
A nose appears: the cow could do all this herself,
the ears are out but my father calls keep pulling.
At last the glistening calf drops onto the dung.
My father unties the knot, slaps him into life.
The cow inclines her head and licks until he kicks.
Not a bother on him, my father appraises.
I drag across the yard to my room and my homework
Julius Caesar, the Gallic Wars, in a dead language.
The calf sways and digs at the udder for milk.
Published in The Blue Guitar (Salmon Poetry 2011) You've Been Great (Smith/Doorstop 2008)