the restlessness of cattle

by Toni Hanner

          for Frances Casey


she watched the animals to foretell the weather,
if the redbirds kept still in the elderberries,
if the flickers and foxes were nowhere to be seen,

she felt the wind rising three states away,
could not explain it, electricity beneath her skin,
the way the blood seemed to sing,

the restlessness of cattle, eyes rolling back in their heads…



Toni Hanner’s poems appear in MARGIE, Alehouse, Calyx, Tiger’s Eye, Cloudbank, and others. She is a member of Lane Literary Guild’s Red Sofa Poets and Port Townsend’s Madrona Writers.

Books include “The Ravelling Braid” (Tebot Bach, 2012) and “Gertrude” (Traprock, 2012).

She is married to the poet Michael Hanner and lives in Eugene, Oregon.