IN THE BARN

You put a shotgun cartridge into the vice, lay it lengthways then tighten, jaws locking hard around the red plastic tube, flat brass end offering itself to the six-inch nail and the hammer, then the ear-whining crack of it, the smoke and the smell of it, and now into the oily drawer for a Razzle, now up the ladders to the bare floorboarded hayloft, lying down sideways on dry dusty wood with jeans and pants around knees, turning the page to see her surprised at you being there, the red O of her mouth, her uniform falling from freckled bony shoulders, nipples half-peeking through cheat hide and seek hands, now opening herself with red fingernailed fingers, eyes closed under slipped down nurse’s cap as you rub it up against her, avoiding staple and spilt milk swelling of someone else’s doing that comets across the page from her elbow to her red-brown glisten when underneath, the noise of boots and squealing, and through a gap in the floor you see Ernie the pigman, carrying a newborn runt by the back legs, its brothers and sisters now suckling their mother somewhere in the red-lit pig room, caged and laid on her side unknowing that her lesser-made son is smashed against the wall, again, again, slow dripping the soft straw floor as your mum calls tea.

 

15. She sips her tea and thinks about this mystery

13. Listen

 
click for all episodes

click for all episodes