Mealtime

Written by Jack Andrew Cribb

Little boy, brought up on meat and gravy,
slowly forgets the cow in the field,
a deep grey divide, a tired tidal process,
a cold unforgiving sea.

The pig is in the pen, the little boy sees his likeness
in picture books, something absent,
something referenced,
brightly coloured
like flags waved before militias,
raping the people of other countries
time and time again,
and butcher shops open their doors on the high street,
offering cut after cut time and time again,
tide and tide again.

Skeletons live in every field, every place to plough
and graze, every place
tilled by a man,
whom has sown seeds down the gullies and furroughs,
and diverted rivers from their course.

Time and tide go on mercilessly,
and little boys are well-fed and grow up strong
because they eat all there is on their plate,
mop up the gravy with bread,
and when they are men,
their appetite will not be satisfied.
They have picked the apple when it is rotten,
baked the fish in saltwater,
shored up the lie of their own sex,
killed the wolf, and in doing so,
have become one.

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