Two-lane blacktop, winding

And topographic,

And that startled cow sloshing


Sideways up the hill,

Her turnip-eye rolled back

To keep track of me,


Now slowed to a standstill

On my bike. Woodland

To the right. Pasture opposite


Where the rest of the herd

Stood grazing, topping off

Their milk-filled tanks.


How she got there was a mystery—

Fence-posts all intact,

And the strands of wire—


Though trapped now within

That corridor she was clearly

Thinking the better of it.


When all at once, ruminant,

From a standing start

She was airborne, her udder


Barely skimming the barbs

To flop down again

On cropped home ground.


Who knew anything so earthly

Could clear that high

Of a hurdle? Over the moon,


I couldn’t help but think,

And then of the moon itself

Being torn into orbit. 


Robert Gibb's book include After, which won the 2016 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize and Among Ruins, which won Notre Dame's 2017 Sandeen Prize in Poetry. Other awards include a National Poetry Series title, two NEA fellowships, a Best American Poetry and a Pushcart Prize.