what a cow (notes for a poem)


Yesterday I paid a short visit to Madrid to get some paperwork done. It involved more hours on the bus than I actually spent in the capital, but I enjoy travelling as it – usually – allows me time to read, write or listen to audio books. Not yesterday morning, though.

The driver on the way into town was el conductor que más habla del mundo and we were regaled with tales of the cow – over 200 kilos – that ran out in front of the bus that morning…

… and how it was a black cow, and how it was still dark, and how it happened on a curve and he had to swerve to avoid the cow and almost ended up off the other side of the road, and how only pure skill on the part of the driver meant that the only damage was to the nearside lights and how the bus didn’t turn over, although it was a cow and it weighed over 200 kilos and it was 7:30am, so it was still dark and the cow was black, and it was pure skill that prevented the bus turning over…

He never once told us what happened to the cow.

It was a black cow, and over 200 kilos…

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

2 thoughts on “what a cow (notes for a poem)”

  1. For two hours? This reminds me of the type of conversation I sometimes have with neighbors, shopkeepers, even co-workers: the same information is repeated over and over. It’s tricky to figure out how to get the needle out of the groove it’s stuck in.


    1. Well, there were a few pauses. But the restart button was pushed each time we stopped for new passengers, each time a car did something awkward anywhere where he could see it, and, naturally, when a cat crossed the road, and when a couple of goats strayed aimlessly from the end of their flock as they were being driven briefly along the verge.
      This driver will talk about anything, but his favourite topics (other than himself) seem to be accidents and road kill – ciervos, jabalíes etc – that has ended up on the barbecue. When our vecina charlatana gets up in the front seat, I retreat as far back in the bus as possible.


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