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  • Rebecca Branle

Cow Tales

We don’t look.

We don’t even think.

We just instinctively turn away.

Because sometimes the truth is inconvenient.

Sometimes her life is a drag.

But she’s there.

Her heart beating out of her chest,

Fear so intense she fevers.

She’s sick with reality.

We’re sick with our make believe.

I used to see through her.

When she peered out from behind silver walls.

Her urgency was too sad for me.

Until I was in a prison of my own.

Until my truth was inconvenient,

My fear a shaking fever.

That’s when I looked.

Our eyes locked.

Two women.

Too young to die.

Both deemed disposable.

When they tell her story they say she was happy.

She romped in fields of green and gold.

She gave her children willingly

So she could give their milk to yours.

She, years from her end, was ready to go.

They spin her tale in children’s books.

The farmer in the dell.

When they tell my story they say I asked for it.

I was too strong willed.

Too smart, too stupid, too weak, too strong.

I exaggerated the blows.

They spin my tale until it feels more comfortable.

Until I’m just an idea that vanishes with easy distraction.

But I’m here.

I’m hurt.

I’m broken but not done.

She’s here.

She’s real.

She’s suffering in plain sight.

As we bless our plates.

Now I see her.

And in her me.

And I rip out the pages

Of fairytales written by the blind.

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