301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently


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Everyone Gone from the Cattle Barn

“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.” 

–Matthew 27:3

Illustrated by Maryanna Hardy.

Illustrated by Maryanna Hardy.

 

Late, with Midway shutting down, its steamy rides

dissolved in the dark, I slipped back in

where my calf was tied—the slaughterhouse looming

larger now—and whispered a goodbye I thought

had no roller coaster. But gazing into each roomy eye,

 

I saw a dark show ring, my posed Hereford

calf and me, a bleeding red ribbon in my hand.

And, though he’d been judged as more than meat,

mere meat he was. Never mind that I had curried

the shiny hair into waves and tousled the tail

 

to stir the judges and me to dream of higher things.

In his dark eyes my betrayal: pieces of silver

and rope for hanging, then left to join my family at the car—

one family, together, many years still before us.

Father paused before starting the car, to visit

 

with someone parked nearby.  We sat, and I watched

long trucks backing up to the barns, the calves shoved

and falling, rising, tripping up the chute,

and with our windows rolled down, front and back,

rolled down all the way, I listened to them bawling.

 

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From subTerrain #69 (Meat)

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