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MAL ROBERTSON

Cow with No Name

Coming down a Cygnet hill,
her wobbling hind, dipping head
is sign enough; slips arm behind
seat back of his ute, for shells,
slides stock and steel from its rack.

Gambol grinds, she contours down
avoids her weight-pain cloven tip,
shoulders gripped, her bone borne
broken knee splits sideways
sandwiched between shank and hip.

Bale burst draws her to the barb,
token alms cross the wire,
last meal, straw biscuits wheeling;
harm cannot heal; a break from life
there is no stealing.

Up, back, forward, down,
she masticates, oiled clicks;
milky breath, egg eyes gleam,
disguised, a hollow point of no return
lifted from the magazine.

He thinks she knows,
he knows she thinks,
bone grit reckoned;
skull borne, aims, she winks
at the bullet with her name
in a splitting second.