And the Cowbell Rings

A Poem by Elizabeth Chung

The slaughterhouse runs like a faithful 
watch, never late or losing time. Cows come in,
steak comes out. As if they understand the bleak 
inevitability of their situation, the cows rarely 
struggle. They walk tamely towards the stench of
blood, their heads swinging low. 

And yet, this old cow is blind to the ending hour. 
It digs its boned feet into the cold ground, it pulls
at the rope held by the tired men. Scared of the
looming black, the cow sweats in futile protest, and
when its red eyes roll back, it sees the green grass
so far away.

Elizabeth Chung is currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley majoring in English and Media Studies, as well as pursuing a minor in Art History. She has won the 2016 Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Poetry Contest, 2 Silver Keys from the Scholastic Writing Awards in 2019, and been published in Whispers to Roars, a small literary magazine. As of today, she moves between San Francisco and New York.

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