Amaranth, lambs quarters, and duck weed send up stalks filled with columns of seeds. Switch-grass and hay tips bleached by the sun, hollow little skeletons knock against my ankles. Today I ran up the hill toward the water tower, slipped between barbed wire to the cow pastures. On the side of gravel road, a group of six men gathered behind a pickup truck, watched as one man separated skin from a large cow hung with chains from a valley oak tree. A clean kill, a swift harvest. Fall approaches. Fall eases itself between the dry earth and the cow whose head leans toward it, his blood mixed with gravel and leaf.
GABRIELLE MYERS is an Associate Professor of English at San Joaquin Delta College, writer, and chef living in the Sacramento Valley of California. Gabrielle’s memoir, Hive-Mind, which details her time on an organic farm, is published by Lisa Hagan Books and available on Amazon and at local bookstores. Her poems, essays, and articles have been published in professional journals and literary and popular magazines. Access links to her poems, essays, interviews, and recipe blog through her website: www.gabriellemyers.com