Winston

by Graham Mort

I’m off to feed the village pig, my pockets
    full of freckled pears. Winston’s snuffling

the yard, back turned, arse bare, busy with
    affairs of state, his snout in the trough, legs

mired in socks of mud. I call him and he
    comes apace: two hundred pounds of

lard, bacon, pudding blood. He’s happy
    to see me, grunts as if he knows my

face – or I’m so deeply sad I imagine that.
    These small gifts make him happy though

the iron gate clangs shut: fruits gone
    bad from our bowl, a tickled gut when

he goes belly up to play: he’s not like
    a pig in shit, he is one, foraging the yard

all day, thinking whatever pigs think
    in the bounty of their world. The pears

are gone, hurled to his humongous
    jaws. I think how quick he’d gorge

on me: Francesco Raccosta fed half
    dead to Calabrian swine: Not a fucking

thing left, his Mafioso rival, Simone
    Pepe opined post-prandially, Not a

hope. Unreal! admiring Frank’s capacity
    to squeal like a pig while being eaten

by them: a fittingly post-modern
    trope for a criminally unwilling meal.

Winston’s above paranoid alarm, doesn’t
    seem to see his death beneath my charms:

the captive bolt, the gun’s held breath,
    dark in its Teflon sheath. He’s politely

chuffed by the treats we bring, batting
    his eyelashes, teetering on cloven toes,

chest puffed out just so: a pampered
    baritone about to sing; a die-hard-right

politico; sus domesticus unflitched;
    salt-shy pork; a plutocrat fattening.