Cows and Daffodils - Believer Magazine

Cows and Daffodils

by Jonathan Greenhause
Illustration by Olaf Breuning

Cows and Daffodils

Jonathan Greenhause
20 Snaps

What if death were as uncertain as being alive?

Perhaps we’re transported to a huge field of daffodils & cows when we die,
& we’re there all alone,
each person alone with a countless number of cows & endless daffodils,
& we can’t measure the time because the cows have no marked routine
& the daffodils never seem to change,
& we have no idea if this is it or not, if this is Heaven or Hell or Purgatory,
& there’s no one here to greet us or give us any information.

We just arrive in the middle of a field of cows & daffodils,
& there’s no sun,
but somehow there’s sunlight, some sort of unwavering light,
& we’ve got no sense of hunger or thirst or heat or cold,
no bodily function to take care of.
There are only cows & daffodils,
& the cows just stand & look back & forth without doing anything,

& that’s when you realize you’ve possibly been sent to the wrong place.
In the comings & goings of so many recently deceased people,
you’ve perhaps been sent to Cow Heaven/Hell, or to Cow Purgatory,
& the cows are everywhere, but you’re the only person,
& you have no way of knowing
how long you’ve been here, or when you’re leaving,
or if you’ll ever leave.

Maybe you’ve always been here
& just dreamt of what you thought was your former life,
or maybe it’s just a matter of time
before you’ll be plucked from this precarious existence
& start a new life, perhaps as a cattle rancher in a daffodil valley,
or perhaps
this is just what death’s like, & we should get used to it.

More Reads

Novel in Progress

Dan Beachy-Quick

Sestina Gratitude

Joyelle McSweeney

Named Storm

Elizabeth Onusko