The Butcher's Shop by Angela Topping
The pigs are strung in rows, open-mouthed,
dignified in martyrs’ deaths. They hang
stiff as Sunday manners, their porky heads
voting Tory all their lives, their blue rosettes
discarded now. The butcher smiles a meaty smile,
white apron stained with who knows what,
fingers fat as sausages. Smug, woolly cattle
and snowy sheep prance on tiles, grazing
on eternity, cute illustrations in a children’s book.
What does the sheep say now?
Tacky sawdust clogs your shoes.
Little plastic hedges divide the trays of meat, playing farms.
playing farms. All the way home
your cold and soggy paper parcel bleeds.