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Bury The Sow

Five-hundred pounds of dead
blocked the milkhouse door with splayed hooves.
Six month pregnant aunt belly-climbed
through the window to find
a pig ripe for planting.

They rolled her onto plywood ramped
to a flatbed. Her name was Champagne.
Handlebar-mustached uncle held tight the ropes
like a carriage driver facing backwards,
strained the buckling wood to keep her
from dragging in the grass. Where yard met cornfield

they dug a hole, no choice but to let her tumble in.
Thank God my aunt said she landed on her side,
folded like the inside of a seed. They blanketed her
with dirt. It showered her ears and spring-
tail. The sun warmed the shovel handles.
A neighbor sang and the baby kicked.

Originally appeared in The Dirty Goat, 2008