T'was the week
before Christmas, and all 'cross the farm
we were struggling just to keep warm.
The curtains were down on the barns so tight,
in hopes they would keep out bitter winter night.
The calves were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of warm electrolytes danced in their heads;
and I in Dad's long johns and Thomas' shirt
march like a penguin to prevent a fall that could hurt.
When out in transition there arose such a clatter,
I popped out of the parlor to see what was the matter.
Away to the pen I quickly made haste
kicked up some straw, and opened the gates.
The sound that I heard, that familiar bellow,
I knew we had little time to go.
When what to my flustered eyes should appear
but a calf in the poo, and another's entrance near.
With a cuss and grumble about more fresh cows
I knew what had to be done, but how?
More prolific than rabbits, these calves just keep coming
I know that's what keeps Don's milk truck humming.
Now Stacy! Now Carmen! Now Shelby and Melanie!
Bring the wagon. Get blue water. Make everything ready.
To the front of the pen. To the parlor to wash.
Throw that behemoth in the warmer. It's cold out by gosh.
As little boys on fresh snow on the hill they fly,
when they walk up the hill, they scarcely cry;
we surveyed our work, knowing we were far from done
like the boys, we must trudge onward, 60 calves left before December's run.
And then, with a shudder, Peter came and opened the garage door,
the loader dumped fresh hay for the cows and left with a roar.
As I spread it out generously, some for each bovine,
I hoped this would put DAs at bay and keep them feeling fine.
He was dressed all in Carhartt, from his head to his feet,
and clipping a heifer so nice and so neat.
Surgery kit he had set up and ready to go,
Dad said C-section and he was all set to cut and sew.
His eyes how they focused! His heifer how numb!
Her brown eyes steely, his voice, if only that baby could have come.
Peter, Carmen, Melanie, Tony V., bring the muscle,
and get it all here stat, please hustle.
The legs of the calf they held tight in their grip,
and they lifted, up high, careful not to make her rip,

He had long legs, and a brown face like a deer.
He scrambled and wiggled, out of new environment fear.
It was just another crazy part of our wild farming life,
and I shook my head, at least no twins today, less strife.
Then she took her soft bed in the calving pen,
someday there will be a calm day, but when?
Dad spoke not a word, but picked up his stethoscope,
and thumped all the fresh cows, as we waited with hope
and pointing at the doors and the gate
we knew our other chores would have to wait.
He pulled out a new twisted stomach, another DA.
Between a flood of fresh cows, calves, and this our coming our way,
we are ready for a break, for a week that's less, perhaps, gory.
But, it's a farm at Christmas time. Isn't a baby part of the story?
Merry Christmas to you and your crew.
Hope that Santa Claus is nice to each of you.