Parallel to the country road
lies the long narrow pig barn,
a freezer case filled with packaged dinners.
Cradled by splintery wood fences,
the heavy dark boar sleeps in the back third
while children challenge their bravery
by scampering across from one side to the other.
Six small pens like chunky brown rims
line the side where piglets wriggle and squeal
and sows scratch their backs
like itchy boughs scrape against a house.
Opposite, tools, bridles, and saddles hang on the wall
over bales of hay, skeins of yellow yarn,
resembling a kitchen
with its chipped Formica countertops
and faded brown and orange linoleum.
Outside the barn’s loose jowls,
a large raccoon in her nightly visit
stands on her back legs, tips to the ground
the cardboard box holding the pigs’ morning
meal of stale bakery goods,
the pink frosting tempting to any appetite.
LL, 3/31/2009. Prevail.