Field Poem

Winter, Beth Reynolds


Just before waking

I dream the blind cow has slipped

and fallen down,

her belly split

a clean barrel, a diagram.


her heart shakes

and squawks, batters the ribcage,

a white bird.


She stands still

nosing the gray mud

this piece of light flips against her bones

the knowing field


under my boots.

I can barely look at her.


In the morning, we thumb our cold coats on

and do not eat breakfast til we return

smelling clean shit, rain

straw. I pronounce les vaches

les veaux

la jeunisse. I repeat names

with my mouth full and

Philippe and Marie-Laure nod.


Another cow gives birth.

Her long cry shifts the herd

on their hooves, taut hip skin stretches

brush tails swing.


A measure of sun,

her broad and bloody chime,


again, again,

a new vowel.


About the Author

Isabel Neal, Pitzer College

Isabel Neal studies English and community design at Pitzer. Serious about seasons, as a Boston native, she is learning those of Southern California.

About the Artist

Beth Reynolds, Goddard College

A children’s librarian who lives with her family in Vermont, Beth Reynolds recently discovered a passion for photography. While at Goddard, she focused her attention on what is displaced as children spend more time with technology. Since graduation she’s been introducing kids to the wonders of analog stereos, typewriters, and film cameras.

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