Father always hummed at the milking
Pausing only to say ‘easy girl, easy there’
When a troublesome horse-fly struck

Sitting on his three-legged stool
His pail clamped between his thighs,
He caressed old Daisy’s belly with his head
And sometimes sank his fist into the wrist
When she lashed out

The sound of milk hitting the pail
Was like rain dancing on corrugated steel
He could hit one of those flies
At three paces with one long squirt.

Sometimes he practiced on me.

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