Spring 2017, Volume 22

Poetry by Jeff Burt


Walking to reclaim the lost cow
from the field more water than muck,
he wore a heavy jacket it seemed for ballast,
his brown boots like oars.

Rain detonated off his shoulders
and hat as if internally planted special effects.

Behind him the striped western atmosphere
began to clear, yellow shards
beneath the blackened clouds.

A single crow flew a long diagonal
and crossed over where he slogged
then tipped its wings as if saluting.

He reached the cow, pushed her firmly
until her feet pulled out of the sucking earth. 

She slipped, slid, learned how to skim,
headed toward the barn,
and the worker, beauty embodied,
clapped his gloves,
sculled into darkness.



BIO: Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, and works in mental health. He watches woodpeckers at dusk, and admires how a tongue wraps around a skull to prevent the concussive force of inquiry from damaging the brain.  He has work in Atticus Review, The Nervous Breakdown, and was the 2015 summer special issue poet in Clerestory.