The Sale Barn

I remember the sale barn

In the summer of my 14th year

The stench of hog that wouldn’t go away

Without a week’s washing

Just in time for the next week’s hog sale

Their nerve-throttled, panicked squeals began

When their heads were pinned, immobile

In the welded-iron gate where

We cut their razor tusks between

The bypass blades of heavy loppers

Cow days were more pleasant

If only for toiling in the absence of hog stench

A hump-backed, brazen brahma bull

Barreling down the chute

I sprinted for the wooden gate

But swung its heft too late

He met it full force,

Raising a gate-given strawberry

Upon my forehead,

A memento of summer at the sale barn


©2019 Lenny Wells

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