noble cow

by The Poet Spiel

we know not to starve a child of touch yet as a lone
male in the public forum i could be busted for touch
or even approach of a child i believe to be under abuse
of its caretaker so i must constantly remain aware
of the slightest gesture i might offer under surveillance

in the 40s when i was a babe the sight of a mother
suckling her child was without controversy it was done
with propriety and thought to be correct so that recent
evidence a mother’s milk might bear toxins harmful
to her child would have been considered pure nonsense
one would never kick a calf away from a cow

my mother is long dead and i have no recall of any
conversation about her taking me to her breast but
my hunch is that my starve for live flesh in my mouth
may indicate she did not—so if i were a mother today
i imagine myself inclined to be the cow who in spite of
all the toxins in the pasture would draw my babe
unto my breast to suckle until death do us part

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