The Dairy

Hospital-clean, the cold-washed concrete floor
drains towards the middle, flushing muck
to sluices. Wide galvanised sliding doors
hang on corrugated wall panels tucked
under impermanent eaves. Strip lighting —
and hydraulic noise from electric pumps
attached to numbered livestock sucking
liquid milk to multi-gallon sumps —
offends against the sweet smell of the dairy.

The shed is full of moisture-laden breath,
gleaming Friesian hides, bulging curves and eyes.
An exhausted kindness, rich and homely,
gains the upper hand; nature’s gentle strength
comes by and wins with lowing lullabies.

ilm Dafydd ap Goronwy Griffith (15 May 1934 – 15 April 2020)

Pictures of Dafydd on the Talyllyn Railway with George and Mariella; and then at Merrow with my Mum and Uncle (his cousins), my Granny (seated) and James and Mary (my brother and sister.) It was taken in October 1977 about the same time as The Dairy memory recalled in the poem. Dafydd was the dairyman.