I want to be your co-ox,
Horn to horn in clack and thrust,
Flank to flank, hoof by hoof,
Bellows and grunts, breath-clouds mingled,
The smell of soil punching up
Into our yoked pairs of flaring nostrils.
I want to feel you taking the brunt
Of the weight, greater Ox that you are,
The release when we carry it forward,
Swift power, the shift of more burden
Over to me when you know I’m ready to bear
More ploughshare, shoulder more of the shunt.
Ox-by-ox in fetlocks straining, goring air,
Proud muscle humbly serving
The wounded curve of earth falling,
Rising again in clouds and clods of glory.
With your help, Lord Ox, with your help, I will,
I’ll pull my weight around here.