Tuesday Poem

Young Bull

The bronze ring punctures
the flesh of your nose,
the wound is fresh
and you nuzzle the itch
against a fence post.
Your testicles are fat and heavy
and sway when you shake off flies;
the chickens scratch about your feet
but you do not notice them.

Through lunch I pitied
you from the kitchen window—
the heat, pained fluid of August—
but when I came with cold water
and feed, you bellowed and heaved
against the slats wanting to murder me.

by Jim Harrison
Selected and New Poems
Delacorte Press, 1971