Phone Call


Hello, Mr. Williamson? This is David Lee, I live in Paragonah. Dur-
ing my morning run I passed by your stockpens west of Paragonah
and I saw that one of your cows, the black-white face, I think, seems
to have calved during the night. I think around sunrise, the calf was
still steaming, at least I think so. But the cow seems to be in some
trouble, I think her uterus has prolapsed and she probably needs
some help. I was running and didn’t stop and walk over to see, in-
stead I turned around and came back to call and let you know so you
can go out and see if she needs help.

Who’s this? Is this church business?

No, no. Wallace, I’m the guy who runs out by your stockpens every
morning. You wave at me. Today I ran early and saw that you’ve got
a cow in trouble. She’s an angus-hereford cross. She’s calved and her
vagina has protruded. You ought to go out and check on her as soon
as you can.

Is this about selling Amway?

:goddammit, this morning
in your west pen
the black balley dropped her calf
and her ass is out
down to her knees.
She needs help.

Oh goddam
it’s that two year old heifer
I didn’t know she was that close
I gotta go.
Look mister whoever you are
you call back
take and give my wife your name
I owe you
but I cain’t talk now
I gotta go
but I sure thank you
I’ll make it up to you
someday somehow

:: David Lee, Day’s Work (1990)

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