Cover Art: Robert Rauschenberg, Calf Startena (Chow Bags). 1977. Screenprint, graphite, and fabric on paper with plastic thread. SFMOMA.
The afternoon I saw the calf,
I was fantasizing about cowboys
riding bulls at the Houston rodeo.
Daddy once said they must
hang on for at least eight seconds
before they get bucked off
so I counted as we whizzed by the unending fence
that meant we were getting close
to Grandmother’s house.
When I reached six, seven, eight
I saw the calf all alone
wobbling to a solitary tree.
Through the clouds, sunbeams spotlighted
his brown splotches
as if an introduction was necessary.
I wanted to shout Look! and point
him out to my dozing brother,
but the calf was already gone.
Still, I turned around,
and through the rear windshield searched
for his mother wondering
if she had abandoned him too.
Laurie Kolp is an avid runner and lover of nature living in Texas with her husband, three children, and two dogs. Her poems have recently appeared in Moria, The Pinch, San Pedro River Review, A-Minor, and more. Laurie’s poetry books include the full-length Upon the Blue Couch and chapbook Hello, It's Your Mother. Learn more at www.lauriekolp.com, @KolpLaurie on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/KolpLaurie.