The Calves Not Chosen

By Linda Gregg b. 1942 Linda Gregg
The mind goes caw, caw, caw, caw,   
dark and fast. The orphan heart   
cries out, “Save me. Purchase me   
as the sun makes the fruit ripe.
I am one with them and cannot feed   
on winter dawns.” The black birds   
are wrangling in the fields
and have no kindness, all sinew
and stick bones. Both male and female.   
Their eyes are careless of cold and rain,   
of both day and night. They love nothing   
and are murderous with each other.   
All things of the world are bowing   
or being taken away. Only a few calves   
will be chosen, the rest sold for meat.   
The sound of the wind grows bigger   
than the tree it’s in, lessens only   
to increase. Haw, haw the crows call,   
awake or asleep, in white, in black.

Linda Gregg, "The Calves Not Chosen" from All of it Singing: New & Selected Poems.  Copyright © 2008 by Linda Gregg.  Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota,

Source: All of it Singing: New & Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2008)

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Poet Linda Gregg b. 1942


Subjects Pets, Living, Nature, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Death, Animals

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Linda  Gregg


Born in New York, poet Linda Gregg was raised in Marin County, California. She received both a BA and an MA from San Francisco State University. Gregg has published several collections of poetry, including Too Bright to See (1981); Alma (1985); Things and Flesh (1999), finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry; and All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems, a Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of 2008 and winner of the . . .

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SUBJECT Pets, Living, Nature, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Death, Animals


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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