V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





While I taped and she painted,
I told her how my grandpa
would choose Dad or his brother
to shoot a pig with a .22.

When Dad, the younger,
finally got a chance to shoot,
Grandpa told him to make an X
across the pig's face and to hit it

right between the eyes.  She
would drop—never any problem
dropping her dead.  A trough,
set close by, caught the blood

after its jugular was cut.  Grandpa
pumped a hind leg, milking out
every drop.  Into a steel basin,
the blood was emptied and brought

inside to the basement while the pig
was butchered in the corncrib.
Snout, tongue, heart, lard, boiled-
off flesh from its head, onions,

and stale breadcrumbs were added
to the blood, and it was stirred
and stirred.  The blood congealed
around the parts, and it was all

placed in the intestines, cooked,
and kept cool in the cellar.  Dad
would cut off a slice, fry it,
and put it on bread before school.

© by Daniel Saalfeld


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