Vision 3

Kelly Hoffer

cows so black they are purple
nosing among bristles dry
enough to break ochre
through troughed snow,                                  thinning
all the colors gone matte

no reflection, no sheen

my mother
this morning
pulling back the lashes
of those eyes,
big and brown, fearful
she breathes out and sees it,                             her lung   
ghosted in front of her
dissipating in the print
of the cows’ mouths

cut from the picture, a space sewn

she looks
at their teeth and at the plastic tags
in their ears, bends to touch
the hooves, pulls a tangerine
from hard soil and opens it,                             gives
me the pith for my gums,                                and keeps
the waxy ribbon for herself

it’s dream, thick sadness,
“heaping infinite upon infinite”

I align four rosettes in cardinals
red beacons to true the needle
the fence fills with milky glass—icicles
wind shoals hollow                                         north