Goat Farming at Flat Rock
Martin Galvin

Carl Sandburg liked a little honey
in his morning coffee which he never drank
till afternoon, a proper time for a poet to rise
who had been at it half the night.
He took some goat’s milk to lighten the cup,
give the coffee a taste worth looking toward.

His wife rose early, raised prize goats from the go,
the get, fed the kids two at a time in the cold kitchen
she’d had built at Connemara, a name they kept
because it fit. In a single year, one of those prize goats
produced forty seven hundred pounds of milk,
a Flat Rock record that may stand as long as goats give milk.

Carl weighed the words he meant to use each week.
They lifted off the scales like bees, would not stay put for anything,
as busy as his language had the need to be
trying to prise itself from traps. He woke late, snuck up on syllables
that swelled like honeyed hives, milked them through the nights
among the rocks, stroked them, honeybee and goat, into the poem.