Fall 2009 / Issues / Poetry 2009 / Volume 40

Cattle Guard — Gwen Monohan

Double-wide strips

with space between

held back the straining herd.

By the strength of bunched lines

they shoved. Snorting, stomping,

chewing wads of pink

cud with lips ajar.

Swaying with complaints.

Haggling to be

first, or next.

Anywhere, at least,

in front of last.

Swollen packs

strayed by the trail.

A few lame books.

Then the leaders ahead

spied a yellow hauler,

and a bawling prevailed,

(louder and longer),

as the bus sighed to a halt

and door steered wide,

driving rows of teens,

the controlled

stampede, inside.

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