Rough Winter (Hand Lotion Blues)

The backs of my hands
have begun their
unhappy metamorphosis
First a coating of
fine grit sandpaper
that will soon bloom
into two sheets of
coarser grit that will
catch in my sweater sleeves
as my hand passes through and

Finally

Used
coarse
grit
cracked
bleeding
not at all
appealing
this gift
from winter
and all the lotions
are greasy despite
the lines the
marketers
feed me

But they know
I need it

All hoping to be the one
that sees my money

How Now Lowbrow Cow

My aunt Janie raised
beef cattle for a living
in West Virginia
I spent a few summers up
there helping out when
I was younger and something
she said stuck in my head –
that a Holstein was the
dumbest cow alive.
Now, try as I might, for
the life of me I can’t
arrive at what kind of
bovine behavior could
clearly brand it as the
“dumb one” among its
cud-chewing kin.
My aunt has passed
so I can’t ask and
it’s troubling my mind
What do they do?
Miss the door and
face-plant into the
side of the barn?
Do they try to climb
on the tractor and
crow at dawn?
Stare directly at the
sun until blind?
Sit down to pee?
It’s a mystery
to me – I find
myself in a
cow conundrum
Drifting through
the great unknown
of dairy cow conduct

Thank You, Jane

Reading Jane Kenyon
is my chosen
defense against
the cold wet
darkness outside
that is insidiously
sliding into
my soul
How easily she writes
of cats rolling on
sunny rugs and
poppies shouting
from far fields
and even on less
pleasant subjects
her words feel like
a healing balm
There is an ease
there, a warmth
in her flow that
becomes a cozy
cocoon – a true
testament to what
great poetry can do