The Prairie – Bridget Fertal

we buy skim-milk by the gallon, here
six pink mouths lap the white stuff
fill their bones with vitamins, to live

on a hard farm, dust-storms blow through
bury the chickens, cats, pigs
but we have the milk in the in ice-box

we have a cow to pull from, and
the bull to work an office job
he needs to feed the cow, to feed us

i liked the milk, but it grows sour
as years pass.  i notice the strange
routine – birth, breastfeed

i like the calves, the small ones
like me.  i feel the need of the cow
to love babies, pinch their pink cheeks

i want a baby, someday.  i will feed her
milk. i will wean her after 18 months
my breasts are hers to share, but mine

to keep.  i am not selfish.  i want the girl
to find out that milk doesn’t fill a belly
forever. i want her to know that i am more

than udders with a milky breath

Bridget FertalBridget Fertal is a 20-year-old poet from Lancaster, PA who currently resides in Latrobe, PA to study English and poetry at Saint Vincent College. Her poetry has been published in Generation magazine and is forthcoming in Francis House and Generation. Bridget’s writing experiments with syntax and fuses physicality with the indefinite as she probes the relationship between individuals and the space in which they reside.