The Half-fingered Man

The Amish man was missing half of a finger
It was the pointer after the second knuckle gone

He came with his family to survey the route
A quarter-mile back through the woods to where the building will set

There were eight of them in the minivan and not enough seats
So they had a stools placed in the vehicle

We walked the route to the site
And he half-finger pointed at tree limbs too low
That would have to go so as not to scrape the metal roof

The red maple branch, those on the musclewood, the dogwood, the sugar maple and the entire pawpaw tree laden with bunches of fruit almost ripe

Writing up the contract afterwards,
He asked me how to spell “allow” and then later the word “damage”
He said that his spelling was poor

After business concluded we talked of milking cows
Of making butter and yogurt and bushels of ripe peaches

We walked a few minutes in the orchard and he asked me
“How do you find time for all this?”

After they packed back in the minivan and drove south
My wife and I held the new calf and put the caustic paste on her new horn buds

Then we cut a wedge out of her ear with sharp sewing scissors
To drain the infection left by the tag she’d come to us with

We’re still not sure if she’s a free-martin
Or if we’ll ever have time for all this

Maybe we’ll end up raising her for beef or
Maybe she’ll give us a dozen heifer calves

Trying to think of a way to end this
Something points back to the Amish man
But it’s not all there


2 thoughts on “The Half-fingered Man”

    1. She’s got a small kinda curious looking bag and tiny teats and we bought her from a 3rd party. I don’t have any experience in seeing freemartins before so not totally sure. Going to send some blood to get it tested in Wisconsin. Costs 25$ to test if she’ll be breedable or not. Live an learn.

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