Road To Tinmouth

by Ann B. Day

On the back road through Danby Four Corners
I was shrouded in fog and damp muggies.
Leaves and grass were limp in the humid air.
Light rain spotted the windshield,
I didn’t close the windows.

I drove up the hill toward a farm:
white, paint-peeling house on right,
gray-boarded, tin-roofed barn on left.
I slowed as a tan, black-legged Jersey
sauntered across the blacktop.
I stopped, turned off the motor and waited.
She stopped—gazed—and waited,
in the middle of the road.

In a moment the rest of the resident herd
erupted from a dark opening
under the rusted, over-hanging roof.
Black, white, red-spotted, manure-rumped bovines
wandered down the road past my parked car,
their empty udders swinging with their lazy pace.

A wet, pink-pimpled muzzle
was thrust into my open window.
Another cow inspected the left rear tire;
others just stared,
until the rubber-booted farmer
quietly moved his herd down the road,
his face wrinkled with a perpetual smile.

Rain splatted on the pavement
as I began to roll up my window.
He looked my way and waved.
“Nice day,” he said.