from " Haruspicating on Valley --View Farm
SACRIFICE OF THE OLD SOW
They said she was wild when the old sow ate the pigs
She farrowed in her straw in the stock-warm barn
Early in March. I caught her crunching the last
One in her jaws, then clung to the filthy patched
Gate and swallowed my breaking new-born tears.
My brother rushed at the sow, "You goddamn bitch,"
Jabbing his pitchfork in the bloodmother's flank;
"You devil, you goddamn devil," my brother screamed,
Trumpeting all the four ends of her pen
Wherever she crashed, "You bitch, you goddamn bitch! "
I squeezed my eyes again at the rawest noise
Flung like manure on the squealing boards.
How could I know, my small hands to my heart,
That this huge barn of a world was also stuffed
By Darwin and Marx and Freud at the feedin.- troughs?
And so, at last, there were only a hundred and twelve
Pigs to be raised. And since the old sow had fed
On the offspring she conceived, we strung her up
And slit her throat and stripped her down and ate
That succulent rib with which we kept alive.