pig farm

by Gerry Boland

a sow stands short-shackled
to a concrete floor decked with
shit-smelling piss-soaked wooden slats

she shifts and struggles
wrenches with sumo neck
an unbreakable chain
lurches in slow motion
against immovable bars

her agitation over
she settles back to standing still
slurps at an iron bar for absent minerals
waits for her session on the rape rack
a term the men use with an ugly smile

ten thousand live here, from
day-old piglets to sows worn out
by never-ending pregnancy

they lie wedged between bars
slumped on their colossal sides
while regiments of newborn piglets
suckle with clipped teeth

Gerry Boland is a poet and author. He was born and lived for much of his life in Dublin and moved to north Roscommon in 1999. His first collection of poems, Watching Clouds, was published by Doghouse Books in 2011, and his second, In the Space Between (Arlen House) appeared in January 2016.