Canada, (b. 1940)
- The pig stands squarely
- in the boarded stall, looking
- stupid and out of his element.
- My rope is tied in a slip-knot
- around his thick neck.
- My father asks
- if I am ready.
- The stall is
- clean and smells of fresh straw.
- Through the cracks blades of sunlight
- carve the cool interior of the barn.
- He puts the knife, freshly sharpened,
- on a bale of hay at stall’s end, opens
- the breach of the gun, pushes in a shell
- (a 22-long)
- and closes the breach. He points the gun
- at the pig’s head and before cocking it
- nestles the tip of the barrel
- between the pig’s eyes. I strain
- at the rope as the pig backs off,
- flat moist snout extended.
- He asks if
- I am ready.
- The report is loud
- in the empty barn and wings begin to beat
- overhead in the loft. The new straw
- will come soon, to pad the thinning cushion,
- and it will come with great excitement
- and sneezing.
- Front legs stiffen,
- he settles back on his haunches like
- the dog at mealtimes. I slacken the rope.
- He grabs the left ear
- (no, the right) and with his other hand
- takes up the knife. Thick well of blood
- gushes from the stuck throat,
- covers rope.
- It is hot
- and sticky.
- I close my eyes and then nothing.
- When I am awake again it is hanging
- by its hind legs from the loft-pole.
- I can see it from my window.
- It has become meat.
About the Poet:
Gary Geddes, (b.1940), is a Canadian poet and educator. He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and raised on the Prairies and the West Coast. Geddes attended the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto, where he obtained a Ph. D. (1975). He has taught at the University of Victoria and is now a member of the English department at Concordia University, Montreal.
Geddes has written and edited over thirty-five books, including seventeen books of poetry, as well as fiction, non-fiction, drama, translation, criticism and anthologies. He is most known for being a political and humanist poet, but his writing is also deeply rooted in place, and includes environmental or nature themes. [DES-07/13]
Gary Geddes at: