Ode to a Swiss Cow
Your kind face makes me stop,
Your eyelashes so arresting
That from my bike, I hop.
Rip clumps of grass in offering.
You inquire with a wiggly nose
With careful lips you chomp
On lavender and wild rose
Then take a perfumed dump.
The slanted fields of Switzerland
Demand a steady foot.
How I envy how you stand
With your sturdy mountain hooves.
The call of your bell makes me smile
A happy clang around your neck.
A song that says, “Come stay awhile,
Slow down, sit, take a rest.”
So kneeling in the grass I shudder,
In quiet awe of your pulsing udder,
Warm bottle to the calves you mudder,
A jackpot filled with rich Swiss Butter.
You were the first Swiss bank account.
Happy farmers investing in your ilk.
Depositing hay, flowers, water and sun
Withdrawing drops of pure white milk.
I wonder where your bounty ends—
In heavy rounds of gold-crust Gruyère,
In swirling strings of the finest fondue,
The magic melt of a chocolate bar
The satisfying plop of coffee cream,
Grand finale to my dairy dream?
Of all the cows in all the world
Thou art surely the most placid
Neither Scottish hairy nor Texas Longhorn,
And thy milk never turns acrid.
With thee I’d happily spend an afternoon.
Watching clouds and whistling carefree tunes,
When I leave at dusk, it will be too soon.
The time when cows jump over the moon.
Silent beast beneath a white-crossed banner,
Above all, I shall remember your manner:
Unflinching, unswayed, unbothered and cooth.
Helvetia’s animal standard of truth.
Oh, humble creature of this mighty mountain land!
You are not a lion, a bear, or some noble stag.
But should I ever be crowned king of Switzerland,
Without question, I’d put a cow on the flag!