The Pig Roast
The afternoon wound down. The pool was calm.
Some children played around the emptied trough.
The small low town was far enough away
Behind the trees to look as though it were
A thread of road, some boxes, a toy steeple,
Propped on a branch. The parents bustled in
To cocktails when the lightning bugs began.
The children had the country on their shoes.
Outside, they watched the greasy farmhand set
A tractor's broken axle in the half-light.
They trailed him with a hundred aimless
Until an aunt corralled them in the house.
A wobbly mother volunteered to fight
The crusted shoes and knotted laces off.
Outside, the farmhand closed his day. He
Beside the rifle hanging from the fence
And scratched the pig's broad head, then slowly
As though he'd left a tea cup balanced there.
After the shot, the farmhand turned to spit,
And, with a rag, wiped from his dirty hands
What must have been the day, being done with it,
And turned then to the night, and night's
1996; originally printed in Cimmaron Review.
Reprinted by permission of the author.
Inner table background by
Country Angels Graphics