Broken Fences

by Glenda Barrett

Living on a farm
I hold my ears to keep
from hearing the squeal
of a hog before slaughter.
That’s over quick, but when
a young calf is taken from
its mother to the sale barn,
the cow bawls for days,
a low, haunting sound,
like someone moaning
as the cow marches back
and forth along the fence.
Only a mother could
know the anguish of losing
a suckling child, and feel
the aching in her breasts
as she longs for her baby
she carried for months.
I’ve found, it’s impossible
to find the dividing line.

Glenda Barrett, a native of Hiawassee, Georgia, is an artist, poet, and writer. Her paintings are for sale on Glenda’s writing has appeared in Woman’s World, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Farm & Ranch Living, Rural Heritage, Psychology for Living, Nostalgia, Journal of Kentucky Studies, and many others. Her poetry chapbook titled When the Sap Rises is for sale on

Back to Issue Five: Fall 2009