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Milk from Sleepy Cows
Bruce Dethlefsen

(for Willi)
here my son
today is done
the cows have all come home
drink this milk
fresh warm and silk
it’s milk from sleepy cows
drowsy cows now close their eyes
to dream the orange sun down
night night cows
cream black and white
come 'round from blue green hillsides
warm and dreamy
smooth and creamy
milk from sleepy cows
rest well yourself
the world will somehow swirl
without you for a while
sleep now
deep now
not a peep now
shush boy
From Unexpected Shiny Things (Cowfeather Press, 2011).
Used here with the author’s permission.



Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Bruce Dethlefsen is the author of Small Talk (Little Eagle Press, 2014), Unexpected Shiny Things (Cowfeather Press, 2011), and Breather (Fireweed Press, 2009), and was Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate from 2011-2012. He sings and plays harmonica and bass guitar in a blues band, The Big Talkers, and runs Poet Camp twice a year. Bruce, who has taught more than a thousand people how to juggle, lives in Westfield, Wisconsin. Learn more about him at


New comments are closed for now.
Just lovely ~
Posted 06/18/2015 01:14 PM

Posted 06/18/2015 01:13 PM
This is an ageless and lovely poem.
Posted 06/17/2015 05:15 PM
I love this!
Posted 06/17/2015 03:18 PM
A poem to keep by my bedside. It really is comforting.
Posted 06/17/2015 02:49 PM
Janet Leahy:
A poem that holds the music of a lullaby, lovely. Thanks Bruce.
Posted 06/17/2015 09:00 AM
sweet and comforting
Posted 06/17/2015 08:41 AM
truly a favorite...I should keep it by my bed for those sleepless nights...
Posted 06/17/2015 08:13 AM
Lovely poem, Bruce. I just need a grandchild to speak it to.
Posted 06/17/2015 07:33 AM
man, i just got up! now i want to go back to sleepy-bye ;-) sweet, bruce. yes.
Posted 06/17/2015 06:52 AM

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