I watched her walk down a flowered lane
Led by a swarthy man in white.
The sunset sky was bougainvillea
She was perfect, our black cow, well not quite.
Her milk was gone.
Lakshmi didn’t want to go with this black-eyed stranger
But a cow of her character does what she is told
She should have been with the rest of her sisters
Crunching green stems as day slipped into dusk
She stopped to look back
The man was patient; he had done this many times before
Keep them quiet on the way to slaughter
Lakshmi had been born under a mango tree
On a Friday
That’s how she got her name, coming into life on the goddess’s day
She gave us milk, manure for our garden, a daughter named Saraswathi
But then one day heat and pain destroyed her udder
We waited a month.
It was over.
The man gently pulled her
She walked the rest of the way
Beyond the flowers
It was a Friday.