Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Previously published in lingerings (online) in 1999

Hog Barn at the State Fair         
The next pig out of the chute
is mottled black over pink,
delicately etched, so it looks
like she’s wearing lace.

And she’s running as fast as she can
around the ring, trying to get away
from the man who wants to show her,
so he hits her harder and harder,
with the stick he's supposed to be using
to guide her toward the judges
who want to take a really good look
at the fruits of his husbandry.

Watch her shoot like a bullet on pointy legs,
wounding the audience, and the man too,
now red-faced, huffing after her, his stick
landing hard on her back. The crack of it
like thunder, making us cringe.

I want to squeal when he hits her.
But then someone nearby, whose favorite
food, like my father’s, is big thick pork chops,
might blow his stack. After all she has
too much mind of her own, that pig,
she lacks discipline -- she didn't turn 
when he tapped her gently, did she? 
No, she went the opposite way,
perverse little twit. She asked for it
by slobbering on his pants leg.

Sweet Jesus, when she’s back in the pen,
the applause is a cloudburst that tries to
wash everything clean. Give that man
a ribbon! Make it black and blue!
Quick as the wind, get the next pair
out and running around the ring!

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