Category Archives: Art

Hogs in a Truck

hog-in-truck-finOut from the long shed we step into sunlight. Too bright for a life of darkness

and the small lights swinging high above the steel crates where we were born.

We grunt and startle at the feel of earth under our hoofs

But before we can remember plowing earth with our broken teeth

we are herded with shocker sticks up a long wooden ramp into a steel walled truck.

The walls are punctured with holes barely large enough to see the sunlight.

And there I find a faint trace of the scent of pigs I once knew.

We are packed so tight that we can hardly breathe

Some of us are foaming at the mouth as the floor begins to rumble under our hoofs

Our bodies slide and plow against each other with crushing weight at each bump and turn.

Hot air is filled with billowing exhaust burning our throats. So thirsty now.

At last the rumbling stops. And we are standing in our own feces.

Some of us have slipped and fallen on top of the broken bodies

of those who can no longer withstand the sweltering heat.

We wait and wait our stillness broken by an occasional choking groan

at the smell of our own terror roiling across our flanks.

Then the door swings open and the men with shocker sticks

shout and prod us out of the truck and up a long ramp to a steel door.

Now we hear the screams of those who have walked up the ramp before us.

Struggling.

No way to turn back down in the press of bodies coming up the ramp

We try to climb the walls slippery with urine

ignoring the pain of the shocker sticks and the shouting men

as each one of us disappears through that terrifying door.

Until I am alone before the door, the door that yawns open

and I am thrust into that steel mouth.

Something hard grabs me by the throat and holds me by the head

The last thing I see is the hammer slamming down

My knees buckle; the floor opens under me

I am sliding down a long chute slippery with blood.

A hook grabs the tendon in my hind leg

I am hoisted into the air

My muscles thrashing

as the knife finds my throat

and life slips away forever.

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