Largely due to curiosity, and licking,
cattle are poisoned the most.
Lead paint; abandoned batteries
from tractors are salty, oily, palatable.
How’s a farmer to find a battery leaking
in the green blades of his field, when a cow,
head down tells no one of her find;
when her calf, rib high, first learns to lick
the red from a disused digger mouth?
Here’s a mother who does not know
she’s killed her young, had fed them lead
spiked milk. Had head in crankcase oil,
stomach lined; days on, foams at mouth,
staggers in the paddock. All once pastoral
now black. Surely, soon we’ll learn there’s
poison in everything, even our brightest finds
Amy Louise Wyatt is a poet, lecturer and artist from Bangor, N.I. She has had work published in journals such as The Honest Ulsterman, Boyne Berries, FourxFour and Dodging the Rain. Amy has read her poetry on The BBC Arts Show, at University of Ulster’s Riverside Readings and at several festivals. She is the editor of The Bangor Literary Journal and was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2018.