Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Briones Park, have you been yet?

Oh, I know it is not the right kind of cow for the poem, but it is the cow
that delights me tonight, and I cannot find one I like any better, This is a roadside cow
from one of out cross-country trips. I quite admire its insouciance!
And its elegant ribs!
Many years ago when I was going to a lot of Northern California workshops
and other poetry events, I often ran into a lively young poet named Barbara Selfridge.
She had long dark hair, and loads of charisma, At some point I bought her chapbook
from which the delightful, spirited poem below is taken.
Now that I am stirring my library in the hopes of compressing it somehow,
I have turned up this chapbook, I just found Barbara's picture thanks to Google
and she looks a lot the same, but now she sports a silver bob.

Love, or Be Scared If You Have To

You're scared but you know that Briones Park
is full of birds who'd do anything
to explain to you about shadows
and the way they change their length.

And there are cows walking on paths
higher up than yours,
and when you see them and realize
that you're looking up
at the underside of a cow
and of course you never have before,
then of course it's scary,
like a two-ton cow
falling on your head is scary,
 but that's now why the cow's head 
is turned to look at you.
The cow wants to know
why you were laughing.
You laugh again and you sing.
When I'm calling you
---hoo-oo-oo---hoo-oo-oo, you sing.
"I'm in love!" you call.

And of course, it's scary but it's only
the underside of a cow,
and it's only twilight,
only the most beautiful twilight
that Briones Park has ever seen.

Barbara Selfridge

After Death You Still Believe in Love;
a few stories and poems, pages 4-5,
Copyright Barbara Selfridge, 1994.

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