by Louis Gallo

We took a wrong turn off US 741
and found ourselves on a mud road
no American car could maneuver.
After a dreary hour of country scenes –
how many country scenes can there be? −
we came upon an obstacle, a cow,
lodged in the middle of the road
like a living boulder.
Of course, it was the little foreign convertible
out of place, an event for the cow.
At the time, though,
behind some green Missouri hills,
an autumn sun sinking fast,
we declared a state of emergency.

The horn did no good.
The cow reeled her head
and stared serenely at the blind swash
of red, as if to say, get lost.
I feared trying to pass.
I don’t know the ways of cows.
Do they charge like bulls
at the sight of red?
Couldn’t take the chance
so I backed up the car
for what seemed miles
until we came to a clearing
and could swing around.

Back on the American highway
we laughed at the encounter
and agreed we had experienced
experience at last.


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