I was so lucky to read with Danusha Laméris at the Poetry World Series last May. This is from her book, The Moons of August. If you don’t know who Temple Grandin is, her book is worth reading, too.
for Temple Grandin
She said it was because she could think like a cow.
That maybe the autism helped her understand
how to design the curved corrals
so they’d flow more easily through the gates.
The harness that held the dairy cow waiting to be milked
made sense to her. She wanted to be inside it, to feel the world
pressing away, something not a human touch.
“Do you feel emotions,” the interviewer asked, leaning against the barn.
“Joy? Sadness? What about love?” She shook her head and turned
toward the last few stragglers in the stall
as the camera panned across her face
into the broad Texas sky.
“I don’t know,” she said, “but I think love must be like this,
when the cattle are all moving in the right direction
and they’re not afraid.”