The Cow

A Poem by Kimberly A. Bolton

It was that Jersey cow what saved her,
her an’ them younguns of her’n.
She bought it in ‘thirty-nine,
right after ol Harry done hisself in,
an’ that insurance man from over in Boonville
doctored the form so’s she could git the
insurance money.
Six hun’red dollars, was what she got
to buy the farm an’ that cow with.

‘Course, she had them chickens too, ya know,
what the bank done fergot to take along with the
rest-a the stock.
Harry wasn’t even cold in the ground before they
Come ‘round collectin’ what was owed.
Corrie May didn’t bother to remind ‘em neither,
‘bout them chickens.
Her boy, Charlie, had done raised them pullets hisself,
An’ t’woulda broke his heart to give ‘em up.

So, she packed up Charlie, an’ the chickens,
them two older boys an’ that girl of her’n
an’ they lit out fer Cotton.
Corrie May bought the cow same time she laid down
money fer that broke down ol farmhouse.
Pert near took ever penny-a that six hun’red dollars.
But the smartest thing she did was buy that cow.

Aw, we all though it a darn shame what Harry done,
leavin’ her an’ them kids to go through it by theirselves,
but it was the Depression, an’ poor was poor.
T’aint no rich folk ‘round Cotton, not then an’ not now.
Poor was poor, as I said, n’ we didn’t know no different.
Times was hard, an’ more’n one man left his family stranded
one way er t’other.

But we all knew Corrie May.
She was a right smart woman, if I do say so myself.
Bought that Jersey cow so’s there was milk fer the girl,
an’ butter an’ cottage cheese.
She put the cream in a crock an’ would hitch a ride up
to Tipton to sell to the cream’ry,
just to have a little money to put by.
She coulda done better’n ol Harry, an’ that’s a fact,
Ever-body said so.
Corrie May had gumption, I tell ya.
Yessirree bob, it was that Jersey cow
What saved her.


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