The Horseback Vet
My white pickup was splashing mud
when I lept out
near the wood in lot twenty-one.
A cow was lying on her side,
her eyes rolled back,
throat gurgling air.
A calf was stuck halfway out
of the uterus, bloody faced, tongue lolled,
crimson bubbles popping from its nostrils.
I grabbed it by the forelegs
and tugged it out, cleared its nose
and throat with my fingers.
I pressed on the cow’s chest
every five seconds, then stroked
them both and whispered reassurances;
but I feared I had arrived too late
to prevent them from lifting
into eucalypti leaves.
Then He rode up behind me,
jumped from his horse,
syringes strapped to his belt.
He rubbed placenta on her nose
grabbed her by the tail and spun her around
so she could fully scent her calf.
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