In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately dairy-house decree:
Where Alf, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man,
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
the sacred cows wandered and fed,
And there were gardens bright with soft young grass,
Where blossomed many a pound of fresh-churned butter;
And casein scents filled the air,
Engorging the nostrils of naughty milk-maids.
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian milk-maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Cottage Cheese.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dairy in air,
That sunny dome! those cows of wonder!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Moo! Moooo!
Her flashing eyes, her swinging udder!
Weave a circle round her thrice,
And squeeze the teats with care,
For she on sweet grass hath fed,
And produced the Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon,
128 fl oz, of Paradise.
He always brought home milk on Friday.
After a long hard week full of days he would burst through the door, his fatigue hidden behind a smile. There was an icy jug of Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz in his right hand. With his left hand he would grip my waist - I was always cooking dinner - and press the cold frostiness of the jug against my arm as he kissed my cheek. I would jump, mostly to gratify him after a time, and smile lovingly at him. He was a good man, a wonderful husband who always brought the milk on Friday, Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz.
Then there was that Friday, the terrible Friday that would ruin every Friday for the rest of my life. The door opened, but there was no bouyant greeting - no cold jug against the back of my arm. There was no Tuscan Whole Milk in his right hand, nor his left. There came no kiss. I watched as he sat down in a kitchen chair to remove his shoes. He wore no fatigue, but also no smile. I didn't speak, but turned back to the beans I had been stirring. I stirred until most of their little shrivelled skins floated to the surface of the cloudy water. Something was wrong, but it was vague wrongness that no amount of hard thought could give shape to.
Over dinner that night I casually inserted,"What happened to the milk?"
"Oh,"he smiled sheepishly, glancing aside,"I guess I forgot today."
That was when I knew. He was tired of this life with me, tired of bringing home the Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz. He was probably shoveling funds into a secret bank account, looking at apartments in town, casting furtive glances at cashiers and secretaries and waitresses. That's when I knew it was over. Some time later he moved in with a cashier from the Food Mart down the street. And me? Well, I've gone soy.
The Internet has led to an outpouring of human creativity such as the world has never seen before. Poetry, prose, works both deep and meaningful and shallow and meaningless (yet amusing and witty). This has been just two of them. Truly, amongst all the horror and injustice, the mountains of difficulty, it restores the human spirit to sometimes stop and smell the roses. Or drink deep of Tuscan Whole Milk, perchance.