Friday, July 29, 2022

If Cows Were Red or Yellow (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Marcie Atkins for Roundup.

A bit of a rough week here in LathamLand, traveling to help my mom through round of chemo, only to have those plans foiled by covid—which has delayed her treatment until next week. In the meantime a series of other unfortunate events, but nothing that can't be overcome. Thanks for your prayers and well mom is a trooper!

I decided to write about cows, because my mom LOVES cows. She has a long history with them, not the least of which was her 4-H Grand Champion dairy cow, Penny.

Mary Hedden (16) & Penny

The art I found invites imagination, so I was able to bring in some thoughts/ideas/imaginings I've had lately about the word "someday."

I've always loved the promise of "someday," but recently I read/heard (somewhere) that "someday" is a meaningless word, because there's no real date/time associated with it. It's all pie in the sky, as any future could happen—or not. Which begs the question, what in the world is certain anyway? Not that got my cows making the long walk home!

What are your thoughts/feelings on the word "someday"? 

Here's my poem. Thank you so much for reading.


cows will be red or yellow
we'll fill our pails with orange milk

escape the swelter, take shelter in a barn
where cool dirt curls between our toes—

remember brown cows, sweet milk?
our together-breath will purple the air

such joy a secret delicious thing
in the land of what may or may not be

- Irene Latham


  1. I like "someday" too --it is a secret delicious thing. Great photo of Penny and your mom. Sending love to LathamLand xo

  2. Yasss, Irene. That's a fun poem! "Purple the air"--wish I'd thought of that. I send good wishes for a speedy recover to your mom. That photo is wonderful.

  3. Oh, hugs, Irene! I'm so sorry your mom is dealing with so much. I love the picture and the poem.

  4. Irene, I love that photo of your mom in her starchy white dress and Penny. Wow, she is stunning. I pray she gets through Covid and successful chemo both without any more delays. I love this line: "escape the swelter, take shelter in a barn" Thanks for writing about the maligned "someday" with such beauty and contagious dreaming. Today I wrote about a book group studying Dictionary for a Better World. Have you heard about it from Kim Johnson?

  5. I used to ask my parents when someday was. What a great question to consider. I grew up around a LOT of cows. I love that photo of your mom with her Daisy. I sure hope and pray that she is only delayed a week for the medicine she needs to get better.
    There are so many colorful words in this poem that I enjoy...purpling the that one!

  6. "our together-breath will purple the air" -- love this! Hmm...someday, someday. I like someday; it's dreamy. It lets me lay on a chaise imagining all that might be. And I'll pick one thing or another, like wildflowers, and take them indoors to make a bouquet.

  7. Love that photo of your mom, Irene--I do wish you all a smoother time ahead. I find this poem unsettling, and I think the most important line is "remember brown cows, sweet milk?"--to me that reads like the only real thing in the poem, like everything else is dystopian future and self-deluding tendency to hope it'll all work out even if we do nothing.
    Wow--that came out kinda dark. And that's how you know it's a good poem.


Your thoughts?