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The fat bloated sow gave birth this morning
Groaning in the still light of early dawn
Snorting at the fate of her pregnancy
At the too-pink almost white pale sucklings
That sprang from her loins like open flowers
Those things that exploded into existence
From an almost unconscious gestation
Letting loose their little whimpering whines
As they slipped from their mothers open wound
To the new blood-warm pile of crimson hay

One by one they were wiped down with wet rags
To remove the slime of their becoming

The farmers boy picked up some silent ones
And stared at them in puerile amazement
Like he held a handful of cold, pink stars
As if by his gaze he could revive them
Allow them to grow fat with the others
Sleeping days away in the barnyard mud
Happily dreaming of something other
Than the mercilessly unknown axe-fall
That echoes through the hillside each season

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