The widower pushed the tailgate shut and fell.
The two sounds –click and thud– seemed synchrony,
As if one in fact were function of the other.
The red calf, bound for veal in the pickup’s bed,
Looked rearward over his shoulder. No one there.
A ginger-hackled rooster, framed by the door
Of the loft, screamed loudly, sun igniting him
To noontime flame. He sent six hens in a dash
For cover under bush and sill, as though
His love-assault might be a thing far worse
Than the farmer felt – or rather did not feel,
The death so quick and commotionless his livestock
Didn’t notice. Everything once had purpose
Here, and meaning, and might still have, if only
He’d stayed to read them. Now a skinny cloud
Rode unremarked on a breeze above the barn,
Unsafe and leaning. His horse, a spavined relic
From other ages, whickered behind the house,
All canted too, its paint mere scattered flakes.
Meaning and purpose had blurred in recent years
But the farmer kept right after them no matter.
Who’d free the weanling now, who lead him to slaughter?