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Steven E. Burt

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4 A.M. Milking
by Steven E. Burt

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Rated "G" by the Author.
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"4 A.M. Milking" won First Prize in the Annual Ray Bradbury Creative Writing Competition in 2004.

4 A.M. Milking
Copyright 1980 by Steven E. Burt

The white-haired lawn lies frozen hard
As I traverse the darkened yard.
My rubber boots begin the sound
Of crunchy echoes bouncing round
Our barnyard with its still, still ground.

Latch and fingers seem to blend--
Like shaking hands with some old friend.
And, worn by time like a butcher's block,
The wooden bolt now serves as clock
To rouse the peaceful sleeping stock.

I feel like Noah on his ark,
Graining beasts in a sea of dark.
While stanchions clank and cattle stare,
Their hay-sweet breath perfumes the air
To warm me as I labor there.

And then communion in the night
As streams of creamy nectar white
Steam warm and frothy in the pail--
A milking stool my kneeling rail--
Man and beast and holy grail.

Back outside I'm breakfast-bound,
But as I cross the frosted ground
A restless rooster dares to crow.
Must he let the whole world know
About my holy ground below?

Burt Creations
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Reviewed by John Banasiewicz Jr 4/15/2004
Well you got this old mind going back many years to day of milking the OLD COW. Been there done that as I say but will always say some of the best times in my life. Peaceful, relaxing, and refreshing were those days.
Thanks for taking back down memory lane here
Reviewed by Daniel McTaggart 4/13/2004
Ah, I just love this. I lived on my grandparents' farm for a couple summers. Some of the best times of my life. Although I never milked, just bailed hay. Sometimes I even shoveled shit. Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it. But it's poems like this that remind me of the beautiful stillness of a quiet morning on the farm. Well done!

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