Saturday, May 25, 2013

Scottie and the Apple

Not far away is a "farm" with animals for children and others to enjoy.  We take the grands there occasionally and they especially like Scottie -- pictured here -- and his mate, Fiona, the Highland cattle. I admit I especially like them too although the baby lambs are very delightful little creatures. We were there on recent at evening feeding and snack time. Watching Scottie and Fiona devour a grocery shopping bag full of treats was our treat. They received a great vegetarian repast: cucumbers, celery, green beans, apples, and grapes, one by one. The following poem grew out of the event.  (Note: this photo was taken a month or more ago, before the spring rains and warmth brought abundant grass to the meadow.)

            Scottie’s Bliss

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.

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