The cows, tonight, are lowing. Beneath the fire-orange sky, they’re calling and howling, speaking of food or lack of food, of babies or lack of babies, of the many various things that cows mourn and celebrate. Maybe they’re speaking of the sun setting, or the pulling forth of shoots, or the grass greening, or the breeze blowing cold air in from the west. It’s spring, but not quite so. Not so much spring that we forget the frost, and the cows know this. They understand the difficulties of early April, the way you always want it to be more than it is, the way you’re always impatient for something brighter and warmer and better. But they understand, too, that early April is sometimes what you get. Sometimes you eat, but sometimes you wait. Sometimes, you get sky purpling like a bruise.
Author Bio: Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she teaches English at Muskingum University. She’s the author of Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music (Citadel-Kensington), The Village (Kelsay Books), and Making (Origami Poems Project). Visit her website at www.vivianwagner.net.