The pigs ran tiptoe through their hubbub,
elegant, avid, boistering at the trough,
quarrelled, were neighbourly, could laugh
seizing fresh straw in mouthfuls, squinting up
until they hung in the barn dumbfounded
in a long arabesque, their stiff lashes
painted with a little blood. There were dishes,
pails, a plastic bag. Good pigs, the man said,
holding a bucket of loganberry froth.
They’ve scraped well. You’ll be wanting the blood?
He stood like an artist at the easel,
weight thrown back, appraising. Good clean pigs. Death
seemed merely stupefaction: passing, absurd
and like wax in the ears, remediable.
from Marginal Land (Peterloo Poets, 1988), © Meg Peacocke 1988, used by permission of the author