Hog of the Forsaken


The hog strains toward heaven
as man would send him to the pit
of his stomach
to mix with the leveling acids
that can turn a beast to waste
by next morning.

Oh come children see them
behind the stacked wood beams,
their snouts sticking through the gaps
to nuzzle the squealing, bleating air,
to seek on your hand the tang of salt
the sweet grass of pasture and lawn
the dust of cornstalks rising
like a rustling wall behind the house.

Tomorrow you will not remember.
But years hence it will come to you: the
smell of manure and fear, the lowing hymn.
And you will turn your tongue from it
forever and ever.