Under a nondescript, not-quite tree,
six or eight heifers
loaf in the scant shadows,
haunch to haunch.
Their dappled russet hides remind you
of Impressionist picnickers.
They’ve browsed the foliage
as high as they can reach
and would, if they could,
consume all of their own shade—
like those Parisians on Sunday afternoon
with their wine and cheese,
their indolent lust.
Don Thompson has been writing about the San Joaquin Valley for over fifty years, including a dozen or so books and chapbooks. A San Joaquin Almanac won the Eric Award for 2021 in the chapbook category. For more info and links to publishers, visit his website at www.don-e-thompson.com.