If you lean for a while on the wooden fence,
the cow parsley in bloom, the sky as blue as Wedgwood,
first one Friesian – slinging its tail, like a bathroom light cord,
at plumes of gnats, which swallows scoop
as whales gulp krill – will saunter over
and check you out with a face that’s completely
unreadable. Do cattle smile? Do they laugh?
And then more: the whole herd buffets like dodgems
to get a good look at you, as if they’ve cornered
the runtiest kid in the playground. You gaze from cow to cow,
size up their eyes’ resemblance to dark chocolate truffles.
But just as you bathe in that communing-with-creatures glow,
the cattle silently turn tail, with no hint of a signal
from any one of them. And then, as if by appointment,
you spy an upturned bike, one wheel still spinning,
less and less quickly, more and more slowly,
until it’s halted by your index finger’s touch.