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Cattle Market

On Tuesday night in this country town
The air is thick with animal noise;
One begins and then another,
From the market, half a mile away.


They voice unease, and by their cries,
From mother to young, week after week,
I am persuaded that some other sense
Knows their future, a space of blood.


I sleep to their lowing and imagine
A centaur leader rises amongst them:
Hooves advance up dreaming streets,
Revolution to some bovine Marsellaise.

Muse, August 1981