Friday Poem

Boar: Even Though

He stumps along on his cloven hooves,
his midget legs, bulging, fat, 300-pound
pig, gorgeous, huge porker, jiggling
hams and haunches. He’s surfeit,
an abundance of lean muscle and pure
lard, old feast in himself, a perfectly
fulfilled purpose in the flesh.

He stands for all the swine relatives
and ancient ancestors of 10,000
years—warthog, bush pig, white-lipped
peccary, woolly boar, javelina, bristled
tuskers, acorn shovelers, river
swimmers, acute detectors of thunder
and lightning two days away, keen
routers of hidden truffles and tubers.

He adores his pignut hickories. He adores
his sows and their wallows.
He can sprint as fast as a squirrel.

Rolling and rooting, settling
into sleep, his great breathing body
inside his grass nest is such a mound
of steady heaving someone might believe
a hillock of forest were quaking to life.

His rumbling, guttural, reverberating
bass snorting, rising from the subterranean
depths of his barrel chest, is the kettle
drumroll of the generous earth
announcing its bounty: Here he is.
He eats anything—fungi, grasshoppers,
grains and garbage, eggs, snakes,
mollusks, birds, bark, manure.

Forgive his stink, forgive his beady,
squinty eye, his ears like stiff hairy
handkerchiefs hanging over his brown,
his jutting teeth, his dripping digging
snout; for he possesses and intriguing
skull, a brain much superior to a cow’s
or a dog’s. And he is senior sire
of countless progeny, his seed so
multiplied “as the stars of the heaven.”
He is provision. He nourishes.

Waddle-trotting away now, see
how his tail in its coil is laughing
at everything he turns his back on.

by Pattianne Rogers
Penguin Books, 2008