The RSPCA Postcard

By | 22 June 2001

At last. A whole day to myself.
Just as I pull out my chair, though
I see them there, shorn on my desk-
two sheep burst like bladders
across a floor too bloody to be
known by time & place but now & here.
I don't vomit, just feel like vomiting.
Those soft-boiled eggs for breakfast.
I cover the sheep with a sheet of A4
but find I can't not look at them.
When I do, I only half-see mutton
in a skein of gristle & red gravy.
It's worse than seeing or not seeing.
I fold the sheep in a manila folder &
go for a brisk walk around the block.
Cats. Two dogs, one dog-owner. No sheep.
Rounding myself up for home, I know
I'm not re-entering an abattoir
despite washing my hands in the
COLD tap's water, the HOT tap's blood.
I unfold the sheep from their folder &
impale them in red on the white wall
directly in fromt of me. Slow blood
glugs, oozes & then drips dripping.
I sit in my chair trying not to stare
at the redbacks & the red centipedes.
I want the animals to die as quickly
as this animal would want to. If
they go down in a quick fix, though
there'd be no live sheep trade &
with no live sheep trade, more farmers
would have to leave the land &
more sons of farmers have to die by
coronial enquiry. Still, if the sheep
are not to live but die by slow drip
does it matter whether or not they die
in Riyadh or at Gepps Cross? Anyway
so that two carcases can slump & stiffen
across the proverbially large desk of the
Federal Minister for the Living & the Dead
the RSPCA trusts me with a 45 cent stamp.
Not for long but for too long, I think
about soaking off the 45 cents. In blood.
Before I manage to post the postcard
the phone rings. Baa-aa-aa, baa-aa-aa.

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