My Friesian Calf

The new vet’s perfume
cut through the shite in the shed.
She pulled on shoulder-length gloves,
reached inside my best dairy cow

up through the birth canal.
The animal roared like a chainsaw
until in a whoosh of blood,
a Friesian calf slipped out.

After the calf had suckled
I asked the new vet in for tea,
released my copper highlighted hair
from its pony tail while she washed.

The first time we made love
her hands delivered me from my labour days.
Like my Friesian calf, I landed
on sweet-smelling straw.

Anne Walsh Donnelly lives in the west of Ireland with her two children. Her short stories have been published in Crannog, Writer’s Forum and various anthologies. They were also broadcast on RTE Radio One. She has taken a break from writing short fiction this year so she can focus on writing poetry. She recently placed third in the Over The Edge Culture Night Poetry Open Mic. Her poems were also shortlisted for the OTE New Writer of the Year Award 2017 and have been published in The Blue Nib.