Douglas Woodsum

Fourteener 279

(Please help me get this pig, dear Lord, into my truck)
Please help me get this pig, dear Lord, into my truck.
Like Jesus, he senses the coming end; unlike Him,
The pig’s exhausted us both with flailing. My hands bleed
From the scrap-wood ramp and sides of the truck bed.
The rope leash burns my flesh. My plan, God, was food
For family and fold, the head and feet for the poor. But Satan,
It seems, is breathing hot stink at me. The pig braces,
Digs four hooves in, and stares. I’d gotten him half way up,
Tied him, then put my shoulder to him. He kicked my tooth
Loose, Lord. My eyes watered. Blasphemy had its way
With me. Now, covered with muck, almost broken, I pray:
Help those who suffer most first. I’ll wait, catch my breath.
Then, please forgive me, and grant one small miracle
Father: Get this pig in my truck to take to slaughter.

Douglas Woodsum
Fourteener 279 first appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Winter 2005-2006.
Poem, copyright © 2005 by Douglas Woodsum
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse