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Friday, July 24, 2009

The place of God

We are that kind of town-bred country folk
that say, when asked, oh yes, we do keep stock ...

then gently turn the subject to one side.
Some will persist; they want to know the worst.

"If you," I tell them, "want to do this, understand:
sometimes one has to steal the place of God."

... our Khaki Campbells and Anconas come by mail
in lots of twenty, every second year.

When small, they're silken, breathing toys,
and grow to be what could be called our friends ...

But half are drakes. In high summer, I
don my most solemn face, and tie with care

my long blue apron on. I wrestle to the barn
our butcher's block, and like some surgeon

spread my glittering tools nearby. The axe
is first, and as its blade ascends,

I feel a panic rising in the eyes
hidden beneath my unrelenting hand.

1998, rev. 2009


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