Saturday, April 26, 2014

We are that kind


w e  a r e  t h a t  k i n d

of town-bred country folk
that say, when asked, oh yes, we do keep stock,
then easily turn the subject to one side.

Some friend persists; she wants to know the worst.
"If you," I tell her, "want to do this, under-
stand: sometimes you'll have to take the place

of God." Our ducks, good Khaki Campbells, come
by mail in lots of twenty, every second
year. When small, they're all engaging, all

underfoot, following our steps with small
heartwarming cries. But half are drakes. In high
summer I don my serious face, and tie

with care my long blue apron on. I go
to the barn, butcher's block in hand, and like
the surgeon spread my choicest tools nearby.

The axe is first, and as its blade is rising,
I feel the panic rising in the eyes
hidden beneath my unrelenting hand.

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