A teacher once told me
that my girlish voice
registered about
as strong a jolt
as a needle prick
on the side of a barn.
Current that
carried no heaviness,
a thrum as thin
and ordinary
as the single-strand
electric fence
it was my job to string
around the pasture
each March, and that
my father said I
did piss-poorly.
But it was a fence.
And I took some
in the mild wince,
the shudder of surprise
when heifers ran out
in the spring mud
and dumb-muscled their heads
through to what
they thought would be
greener grass, greener grass,
not knowing the old joke
about the farmer
who’s asked for directions
and scratching
his head says
you can’t really get
anywhere from here.