I had been asked to help position the cow
To give the shooter a clear shot.
I hear the thud of an 800-pound animal
Landing on the fine dirt.
Fine dirt that now billows outward.
Covering my body like a squall.
The voice of things are clear
When there is a full commitment behind them.
The chainsaw sounds off in the distance
Signaling the cow is now being half-sided
She’s drained out. Her head’s already cut off.
Sitting on the fence near the cow squeeze
John Van Ruiten surprises me.
His garage is on the other side of the fence.
His work is transporting large construction equipment
The shop is where he works
On his two white and yellow Peterbilt 18-wheelers.
His red neck is real. He’s taciturn. Quiet
We never seem to talk to him.
Keep our distance.
Probably because he lost his wife to cancer
3 years before.
Makes him an alien to our family.
“What’s wrong” he asks?
“Why are you crying?”
“I didn’t want to see the cow get shot” I reply
“I didn’t want to see it die like that”
He remains standing by me
For as long as I cry.