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