local_library Molly and Me

by Pamela Dionne

Published in Issue No. 283 ~ December, 2020

Milking a cow means I’m in the barn

before sunrise, herding Molly into the stall

where I’ve laid a flake of hay.

Sweet timothy mellows manure’s stink.


My older sister

never seems to get the hang

of grasping a teat,

pushing with a little shake

up into the udder to start the milk.

Only two of us, my brother and mostly me,

are capable of this chore.


Dawn rises. I’m astride

a three-legged stool,

forehead pressed into Molly’s side,

feeling the heat of her body.

My head nods with each breath she takes.

Particles dance in sun blades

cutting through gapped barnwood.

Morning colors the Cascade

foothills bordering MacKenzie River.


Daylight reaches Molly first.

She turns, noses my hair,

sighs down my neck, under my collar,

warms my shoulders.

Her breath the fragrance of clover.


Feral kittens leap, catch

milky jets. Their mouths pink, wide.

How close wild babies will come

to taste promise.


account_box More About

Poet and writer Pamela Moore Dionne’s work has appeared in a number of journals including Shenandoah and Pontoon. She was a Jack Straw writer and received their Artist Support Grant to record a CD of her Sabina Spielrein Ghazal series. Dionne earned a Centrum residency and an Artist Trust Gap Grant. Her visual art has been published in journals and presented in one-woman shows. Other credits include founding and managing the online art & literature journal Literary Salt. Dionne was also the founder of Discovery Bay Games. She received her MFA in Creative writing from Goddard College.