The secret lies in
a hundred and one strokes,
down the cascade, long as a mare’s tail.
It is carried in the singing
learned from children,
that floats like so many sparrows
through the open window of the throat—
on the wind.
It is in the slow stirring of the pot,
the spoon hand-made, carved
of a wood like birch.
Pull it clock-wise along the pot’s edge
beginning in the east.
In these acts
the world is dreamed into being.
It falls to the straw, slipping
from its mother like a newborn calf,
wet, and soon bawling,
unfurling impossibly long limbs,
attempting to stand, then standing.
The secret lies in the crescent pattern
of the mother cow’s licking,
not the rasp of her tongue,
but the sweet scent of grass on her breath.