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This poem is taken from PN Review 208, Volume 39 Number 2, November - December 2012.

'Shambles' and Other Poems Hilary Menos

This is the cow that peered down the black hole of the captive bolt,
shrugged its clod against the head-gate
and said, like Gary Gilmour facing a five-man firing squad in Utah State,
'Let's do it!'

This is the sheep that held out a hoof
as the tongs ear-muffed her temples
and said, like John Amery greeting the hangman in Wandsworth Gallows,
'Oh Mr Pierrepoint, I've always wanted to meet you, but not, of course, under these circumstances.'

This is the goat that, incompletely stunned,
offered his throat to the knife
and said, like Walter Raleigh mentally thumbing the axe,
'So the heart be right, it is no matter which way the head lieth.'

This is the chicken that, shackled by one foot to the rack,
reached the electric bath for a partial KO
and said, like Tony Mancini receiving the hood at Pentonville Prison,

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