The steers

One steer waddles down to kiss himself in the mirror of our pond. He is watering his first stomach where the process begins. Another steer is licking salt but will head right back out, accustomed to his appetite. You can count on these boys to make a life of it, each one by himself, forgetting his mother and the smell of family things. Hello I say when one comes to watch my gardening; and he walks up as a child just up from an afternoon nap walks to the yard and stares at his sister. Then he turns and joins the others tearing at the grass so hard I can hear it from the house: all fifty of them making messy rips with that jerk of their necks which is the only impulse the careful breeders left. Soon it will be storming and slapping them with rain. They will stand beside bare trees chewing cud horizontally. They have no names. You call them with their hay. And I have seen their kind, with backs all ice, following tractors affectionately, making the ranchers proud.

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