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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


by David Chorlton

There’s no pretty way of killing a pig
which is why nobody shows you
how it’s done
from the squeal to the hook
where it hangs
when the life has drained out

and there’s no comfort for a calf
however it stands or folds
itself into the crate
where it spends its days in the dark
until somebody kicks
or laughs it to death. Nobody wants

to think about hens
strung up by their feet
shedding feathers and blood
when they eat. When they bite
into sandwiches nobody tastes

the bars of the cage
that an animal bit
when its jaw was all it could move,
but you see the plate in all
the commercials with gravy
and a glass of wine, never

the eye turning white
and too large
for its socket
as it rolls there like the loose change
you might leave as a tip.

David Chorlton lives with his wife, four cats, a dog, and some birds in central Phoenix, where he also organises a monthly poetry series at The Great Arizona Puppet Theater. After thirty-one years in the USA he continues to appreciate being an outsider, which sharpens vision and makes otherwise mundane observations meaningful. His new chapbook, From the Age of Miracles, appeared in 2009 from Slipstream Press as the winner of its latest competition.