Sunday, January 09, 2011

A COW FELL ON A PREGNANT WOMEN: ON COWS AND TRAGEDY


 "A Minnesota woman who was pregnant when a tornado dropped a cow on her last summer has given birth to the baby."

Miekal And posted this news story on his Facebook page. It seemed a strange and haunting fable concerning cows, humans, pregnancy, and tragedy averted. And so, this poem arose. I really liked the idea that, in the original--and true--story, this very strange thing happened (a cow fell on a pregnant woman) that might seem to be filled with ominous bovine portent, but in the end, the baby was born without incident and everything was normal, though the mother named the baby, Skylar, because "the first syllable recalled the sky." I've been playing with the ending of this poem -- it is a bit tricky (or at least against dramatic considerations or a kind of rhetorical closure) to have the poem end in nothing happening, or at least, everything happening as you might expect it. A shaggy cow story, as it were. I have resisted having the baby being born in the poem, or something else happening, though I'm still thinking about the ending.


WITHOUT TRAGEDY

a cow fell from the sky
onto a pregnant woman

a tornado was the father
the baby the still eye

the people of the village worried
made quilts picturing cows and tragedy

but the baby kept growing

a swirl of leaves in a forest
a pink hand inside a muffled drum

and the woman kept growing
a million twisting miles
of new red blood

and so the cow toppled off
and walked away

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