when the neighbor’s cows shuffled into the field
dad would always shout "cows are out!"
and we (forgive us, just two kids) would burst
through the side door. i gathered emerald strands
of rain-fattened grass just outside of the cows'
reach, twisting them into thick braids. their
noses would nuzzle, tongues unfurl. you taught
me that summer how to tell if the fence was on:
by taking a strand of long grass (an imperfect
conduit) and touching it to the hot wire. if it
was on, the bones of our arms would thrum.
pain gently weaving through the radius and
ulna in electric plaits. we would smile,
then, in the fading light. grass to the fencetop.
mostly fearful of not having loved another fully.
not yet knowing how to love ourselves.
(oh, forgive us! just two kids, then.)
learning new ways to ease into the hurt.