Hardcore Pastorals: Poems by Rebecca Hawkes

By | 31 October 2021

in theory food is the first love anyone receives
and we hunger for comfort in sustenance accordingly
fiending for the most primal memory
of big mommy milkers everywhere
but often despite the troughs of sweetened grain
the shedhands are strangers
and there is no time to calm
each cow with careful hands and sounds
so if she is nervous the cow may be given
an injection of oxytocin hormone
the rush of administered adoration
flushing in the bloodstream
causes her to let down milk
her body warm with amazement
what imaginings must bloom for her
as she releases herself giving over
the first astonished moments of her calf
wobbly in his new gravity or the soothing
press of her sisters at her sides or just
the barley grinding golden in her teeth
raising her tail for lovely flatulence and tingling flow
relief deflating all her tensions
to the comforting tune of the suction pump
love love love love
such a useful and necessary illusion

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