Bethany Reid’s Sparrow won the 2012 Gell Poetry Prize. Her recent poetry books are Body My House (Goldfish Press, 2018), and The Thing with Feathers, which was published as part of Triple No. 10 by Ravenna Press (2020). She lives in Edmonds, Washington, and blogs at http://www.bethanyareid.com.
On the winding road up the coast to Dingle
cows stop traffic, their black and white flanks,
their billowing udders, pink muzzles,
sturdy jaws chomping as they walk,
ponderous unwieldy boats jostling
one another in a narrow passage.
Our rental car is small and white,
splashed with mud. It might be one
of their kind. The cowman raises his stick
in greeting, gives us a wink.
We are one car in a long row of cars.
Far back a car horn honks. Always, this discontent
with being human. One cow flicks her tail
and trots a few bold steps, then settles back
among her kin and trudges on.