Today's poem is by Sarah Kain Gutowski

Why Our Mothers Panic

Some days, even the walls of the field are too much for the sow.
Holes in the fence taunt her. Once upon a time she fit through
and could escape to wide, bright fields where grass ran free
from livestock and the earth sat flat, untilled by the tractor.

Her own hunger increases on days like this,
when she feels trapped by clouds capping the sky,
or the relentless pull from piglets suckling,
or the indifferent look from the farmer, who brings her dinner.

On days like this, her head is not a skull filled with networked matter,
its own system of fences and walls built up and torn down over time.
It is an empty cavern sleeved with hanging bats, who bide
until the darkness ripples outward, waves of changing light
or sound that roust them into flying away.

Then, her thoughts are a mad confusion of wings.

Copyright © 2012 Sarah Kain Gutowski All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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