The spring grass grows taller every day,
Thicker, brighter green, more luscious.
If I were a grass grazer I’d browse the pasture
As happily as I lick ice cream from its cone.
Do Scottie and Fiona, the Highland cattle,
Appreciate this succulence after winter’s short,
Dry grass and months-old hay?
Animals have memories–we know they do–
And emotions too…well, is that true?
Is there bovine bliss or boredom?
I thought I saw bliss on Scottie’s hairy face
Yesterday when the farmer gave him an apple,
A large Golden Delicious apple, a goodly mouthful.
Scottie tipped his head back, nearly closed his eyes
And chewed and chewed and chewed and chewed.
I too have eaten Golden Delicious apples,
I know the crisp crunch. I know the juiciness
And sweetness when saliva and apple blend.
As I watched Scottie, I knew, in my mouth
What he knew in his. We are both mammals,
Our taste buds and brains are wired the same.
Scottie has no words--but I do--to hone
an edge on bliss, to sharpen a memory.
I came home and fixed sugar snap peas,
briefly boiled, lightly buttered. One by one.
I chewed and crunched and savored sweetness.
My bliss, I believe, was enlarged by our kinship
Made precious through word-formed memory.
Words define our bond. I love words
the progenitors of empathy. And poetry.