Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘The Stillness of the Cows’ – a poem by Robert Etty

    Photo by Henrik Hjortshøj on Unsplash 


    The Stillness of the Cows


While summer’s delaying, they doze and graze,
ruminate over landscapes all day,

lie side by side and gaze across fields,
content (or a milk cow’s equivalent)

with sunshine, warm rain, the shade of a hedge
and acres of regrowing grass,

and then with silage and condensation
when bales and corrugated shed walls

pen them in through the centrally heated months
that the farmhouse squares up to across the yard.

They quadruple-stomach everything
(though cowhands may beg to differ),

seem to know what it is to be cows
in a field in a universe,

and wait for the lad who bikes down at four
to call them over to milking.