K.M. Preston: ‘Poddy Calves’

Poddy Calves
for Polly and Moo

The smell is bucolic, mixed animal and fertilizer
with eucalyptus top notes from the hills,
cow’s breath of munched green pasture
and liquid dung flung and aired by swishing tail.

Poddies, orphaned or rejected, are calves
that have farmers’ kids to substitute
what lacks in motherly love, and identities
that keep them safe from cattle sales for years.

City folk have meat on polystyrene trays
for tossing on the barbie. Cattle are that
smelly hindrance on rural roads, bustling
a threat to schedule and the Audi’s paintwork.

In the country, the bottom line is porous stone
where sentimentality soaks and bleeds.
Names are garlanded on poddies,
and names demand a commitment.

K.M. Preston


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