Mark Trechock: “Calving”


Saw Arne at the barber shop
Waiting his turn, seemed
To be nodding off, his
Old truck magazine slipped
Off his lap. He woke up.

Calving, he said, midnight,
three o’clock, six,
And here he was sleeping
Downtown like a vagrant. He
shook his head, rubbed his eyes.

I asked him, could he tell if
He could pick out the cows
That were likely soon to drop,
So a guy would know
To stay and help if birthing was hard.

Arne gave me that look, like
City boys have no brains,
And said, well, when you see
That extra pair of legs dangling down,
You’re getting close.


Mark Trechock published his first poem in 1974. He put poetry aside from 1995 to 2015 after more than 20 years as a community organizing. He lives in Dickinson, North Dakota. His work is soon to appear in Triggerfish, Visitant, SBLAAM, and Sweet Tree Review.


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