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Tuesday, February 07, 2023


by Cecil Morris

Chinese scientists have successfully cloned three “super cows” that can produce an unusually high amount of milk, state media reported, hailing it as a breakthrough for China’s dairy industry to reduce its dependence on imported breeds… They were cloned from highly productive cows from the Holstein Friesian breed, which originated in the Netherlands. The chosen animals are capable of producing 18 tons of milk per year, or 100 tons of milk in their lifetimes. That is nearly 1.7 times the amount of milk an average cow in the United States produced in 2021, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Photo: Workers feed cows at a dairy farm in Handan, Hebei province, China, on November 15, 2021.[Hao Qunying/Costfoto/Future Publishing/Getty Images] —CNN, February 1, 2023

The headline makes me think of Superman,
the Man of Steel, and cows in capes and tights
and an enduring fight for truth, justice,
and the American way (or better
tomorrow). Then, after reading the news
of exceptional Holstein Friesian cows cloned,
I think of Frankenstein and his monster
because, to a suburban boy, Holstein Friesian
already sounds like science run amuck.
I imagine herds of Chinese cow clones
descending like knock-off handbags or phones
on American dairies, udders bulging
with tons of milk, another disruption,
another Chinese plot (just like Tik Tok)
to corrupt our country and weaken us
and, maybe, the high-flying spy balloon
was scoping out farms and dairies and not
our strategic fields of nuclear missiles
and when I read that our own FDA
approves of meat and milk from cloned cows
my mind leaps to deep-state conspiracies
and wholesomeness and the American
way weaponized against our best interests.
What if they clone Tom Brady or Peyton
Manning next? Will tons of passes saturate
our football landscape and forever change
the game we love as much as we love guns?

Cecil Morris, a retired high school English teacher, divides his time between Oregon and California. He has poems in or forthcoming from 3Elements, Cimarron Review, Ekphrastic Review, English Journal, Evening Street Review, Hiram Review, Hole in the Head Review, The New Verse News, Scapegoat, Talking River Review, and other literary magazines.