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The Healys had a Farm

And on that farm, the hysterical
pitch of pigs singing in the morning,
cut short by the crack and thud
of a .22 pistol when we shot
and slit them, boiled them in barrels.

Here a warble, there a hiss
of geese davening in the yard,
chasing dogs and pinching children
until we snapped their necks,
arranged them in the freezer.

Here a whimper, there a wailing
of cats begging milk, coiled
and fightened, a dozen kittens
stuffed in a feedbag
and drowned in the pond.

Here a bellow, there a moan
of arthritic yellow cows,
dry and too old for milking,
pushed and dragged to the truck
going to the dog food factory.

And on that farm, the music
ended. An auctioneer chanting
quick and low. Here the beds,
there the horses, everywhere
the gawking neighbors.

And on that farm, we sat
blue in the grass in the wondrous
ballad of June. Here and there
and everywhere singing,
a perfect chorus of silent animals.