Homesick for Napa at the New York Museum of Natural History

Three impala
fixed in the instant of recognition
watch warily out of glass eyes
in the museum case.
I know those eyes.

Beyond them storied herds
eland, gazelle, okapi, numberless
against a distant mountain-rise
dot the vast bright veldt of painted Africa–
cattle
grazing
in a grassland valley.

In Kenya, it says,
they prize them, study
their graces
choose favorites.
The animal is beauty.

There
children play at cattle
with pale stones–
smaller ones for calves.

In my far valley
cows belong to the horizon
like the standing straw.
They move with the sun
unnoticed
on sere hillsides.

-Carol Brockfield
Poets of the Valley, 1981

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About Carol Foreman Brockfield

Poet in Medford, Oregon
This entry was posted in Poems. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Homesick for Napa at the New York Museum of Natural History

  1. D Chadwell says:

    Love this one too. The glass eye, painted Africa — I know the displays you mean. I love how grassy this is.

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