If you look hard enough, much of life will yield both tragedy and comedy. In this week’s poem, a man struggles to get a pig into his truck with disastrous results.

Douglas “Woody” Woodsum teaches English in rural Maine. His poems have appeared in many magazines including in Yankee, Southern Review, New England Review and The Beloit Poetry Journal, and his book “The Lawns of Lobstermen” was published by Moon Pie Press in 2010.

Fourteener 279

By Douglas Woodsum

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.

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2005 Douglas Woodsum. It appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Vol. XLVI, No 4 (Winter 2005/2006) and appears here by permission.

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