Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2019  Vol. 18 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Wild Pigs

Mr. Mullaney, I am a guest here
and cannot give you permission to kill
the pigs that upturn the yard every night
like puppies burying toys under the rug.
Whether it is with rifles or dogs,
in the daytime or night, this is not my place
to say yes, which I suppose is no.
You impressed me with your picture shot
by remote from a tree-mounted camera.
That is a big boar alright. And I sugared you
with questions about the meat, the spices thrown into
the Crock-Pot, which makes anything tender:
a nod to your broken mouth, a tarred
jumble, could be tobacco, could be worse.
But I cannot speak for the owner who lives in Atlanta.
I might have been frightened:
the screen door between us, hook and eye
at the top, hook and eye down below;
you in formal camo, a three-piece suit,
to my gown and bare feet. You looked away
when you said, I got permission from all
the neighbors out to Dixon’s farm, so don’t
you worry if you hear the dogs tonight
or my truck—you and the gun were implied.
Something must have passed then from me
to you through the screen door, hook and eye,
hook and eye: That sort of thing doesn’t happen
much around here, you said. What sort
of thing, Mr. Mullaney? And when it does
happen, what do you know about it?
Mr. Mullaney, what have you done?  

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