Robert Bly

My Father at Dawn

Is my father still working with the cows? 
They rattle their stanchions, waiting for the silage. 
The calves are waiting, and the pigs grunting. 
Horses stamp their hooves in the dusty stalls.

While it’s still dark, my father gets up, puts on 
His overalls, puts on his stubborn life, 
Which he stubbornly cherishes—it is in
Him just as the call of the dove inheres

In every cell of her body. The life he had chosen 
Was what he longed for. That’s what we think. 
Meanwhile the cows are waiting. 
And the horses are restless in their stalls.