For Jan, with Love


1

John he comes to my house
pulls his beat up truck in my drive
and honks
Dave John sez Dave my red sow
she got pigs stuck and my big hands they wont go
and I gotta get them pigs out
or that fucker shes gonna die
and I sez John goddam
well be right down and John sez Jan
he yells JAN wheres Jan shes got little hands
she can get in there and pull them pigs
and I sez Jan and he sez Jan and Jan comes
what? Jan sez and John sez tell Jan Dave
and I sez Jan Johns red sows got pigs
stuck and his hands too big and wont go
and hes gotta get them pigs out
or that fuckers gonna die (John he turns
his head and lights a cigarette)
(he dont say fuck to no woman)
and Jan she sez well lets go
and we get in Johns beat up damn truck
and go to pull Johns pigs

2

Johns red sow she doesnt weigh
a hundred and sixty pounds
but he bred her to his biggest boar
and had to put hay bales by her sides
so the boar wouldnt break
her back because Carl bet five dollars
he couldnt and John he bet
five she could and John he won
but Carl enjoyed watching anyway

3

Johns red sow was laying
on her side hurting bad
and we could see she had a pig
right there but it wouldnt come she
was too small and John sez see
and I sez I see that pigs gotta come out
or that fuckers gonna die
and Jan puts vaseline on her hands
and sez hold her legs and I hold her legs
and Jan goes in after the pig
and John gets out of the pen and goes
somewheres else

Jan she pulls like hell pretty soon
the pig come big damn big little pig
dead and I give Jan more vaseline and she goes
back to see about any more
and Johns red sow pushes hard on Jans arm
up to her elbow inside and Jan sez
theres more help me and I help
another pig damn big damn dead comes
and Johns red sow she seems better
and we hope thats all

4

Johns red sow wont go
out of labor so we stay all night
and John brings coffee and smokes
and flashlight batteries and finally Jan
can feel another pig but Johns red sows
swole up tight and she cant grab hold
but only touch so I push her side
and she grunts and screams and shits all over Jans arm
and Jan sez I got it help me and I help
and we pull for a goddam hour and pull
the pigs head off

and I sez oh my god we gotta get that pig now
or that fuckers gonna die for sure
and John sez what happened? and Jan
gives him a baby pigs head in his hand
and John goes somewheres else again
while Jan goes back fast inside
grabbing hard and Johns red sow
hurts bad and Jan sex I got something help me
and I help and we start taking that pig out
piece by piece.

5

Goddamn you bitch dont you die
Jan yells when Johns red sow dont help no more
and we work and the sun comes up
and we finally get the last piece of pig out
and give johns red sow a big shot of penicillin
her ass swole up like a football
but she dont labor and John sez
is that all? and Jan wipes her bloody arms
on a rag and sez yes and John climbs in
the pen and sez hows my red sow?
and we look and go home and go to bed
because Johns red sow that fucker she died


David Lee, The Porcine Legacy, Copper Canyon Press, 1995.