Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2019  Vol. 18 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Bag of Feed

I was on my way home from the farm where I worked when a bull
attacked me. I hid behind a tree, but he came around and charged
at me again. I realized I had a red shirt on and this must have
enraged the bull, so I tore it off as fast as I could and threw
it on the ground. This seemed to have worked because the bull
walked up to the shirt and snorted at it, then walked away. I
picked up my shirt and rolled it into a ball and walked on my way,
naked from the waist up. When I got home I told my wife about
the bull and she laughed and told me I should remember to
never wear red to work. The next day I was milking a cow in its
stall when it turned around and started kicking my face. I laughed
so hard I kicked over the bucket of milk. And the next day I was
feeding the chickens when one of them suddenly flew up and bit my ear.
It bled so hard I had to go to the farmer’s house and get his wife
to bandage it. The next day I was feeding the pigs when one of them
bit me on the ankle. It hurt terribly and I had to quit for the day.
My wife told me I was allergic to the farm and that I had to quit
my job there. It didn’t make any sense to me. I had been working
there for twenty years. Nonetheless, I did quit. It made me
sad to do so. When I told Mr. Johnson, he said he understood.
He said one of his workers had been eaten alive by the chickens
many years ago. He said it’s called The Bag of Feed Syndrome.
The animals think they know you so well they begin to think of
you as a bag of feed. I thanked him for all he had done for us
and said my goodbye. On the way home I secretly cried. My wife
said everything would be alright. On the first morning home I woke
with my left hand missing. I looked everywhere for it. I hid
the stump from my wife, and she didn’t seem to notice. The next
morning my right leg was gone. And so on until there was
just my head lying on the pillow. My wife asked if I wanted
breakfast and I said, “I don’t think so.” The thought of it
made me sick. Well, it gave me a headache.  

   Nine Posthumous Poems

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