This was a good one. He never hit me. He was kind but he scared me.

Remembering Foster Care

We are in the wilds,
somewhere near the Canadian border
and we're driving and driving.

The semi-retarded foster father and me, the child,
say eight or nine years old.
We're in a truck and he's carrying in the back
huge cylinders,
huge vats of what I called "cowgiz."

It's his job to inseminate every cow from here to kingdom come
with this enormous plunge gun.
And I am not allowed in the barn, but sometimes
I'll sneak in anyway to see the cows raised up
on these amazing contraptions,
splayed and humiliated,
legs dangling, bellowing and afraid.

But at the same time, bovine, mysterious,
wielding extraordinary power, even grace, in that position.
I sit with the farmer's wives in the bright farm kitchens
their hair pulled back in tight little buns,
in the shady heat of the afternoon.

I am offered milk and cookies every time and we sit in silence,
little me and the grim wives.
Their husbands away of course,
out birthing or something at nearby farms.

Cookies and milk and a little chitchat
against the mewling and braying of cows,
against the heaving pulse of the bar.

The man drooling in his drenched overalls,
wielding his blunt and clumsy,
his extraordinary elixir.
Oh the throbbing churn of it all.
Now ladies! ... His passionate, deranged face.

I, waiting with the demure wives
When it's finally over, the man with his slurred stare
knocks on the kitchen door to collect me,
nudging me to the next farm, far off.

Poetry by Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 367 times
Written on 2016-11-07 at 00:09

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Very gripping imagery. Like something by Faulkner. The Foster Father is very intriquing. I sense a hidden nobleness about him who may not be as gifted as others but honors that which he is able to do. What an experience for such a young girl. Great write!

An experience described well. It's like you've made immortal a piece of your life, a point in time snatched away from oblivion, i love it

Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
I had never thought about how they do such things. It sounds macabre really. How old were you? It must have been strange for you. Kind of a giant metaphor on life, being artificially screwed by people. How do you now feel about it? Your life has been so interesting my friend.

one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
This is almost surreal, so vivid, and so unlikely. This would be a great basis for a short story, there is so much potential here for character and place. As is, it's great, thank you for sharing this part of your life.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Okay; you've bowled me over with this one, Ashe. It's obviously real, but also surreal.

ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
A very good powerful , thoughtful , scary. Story-poem.

Interesting but scary.

that's an interesting and different way to grow up I think. I like the words you used to describe some of the things as well.