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 of abattoirs & such

we went,

our parents being teachers,
to all the factories metal
exuding the reek of tar built-up
over decades of works.

of all these,
I think, the abattoir
most marked me

and yet,
but still, I am no vegetarian

those who are,
when I mention this
flee from understanding
into ideology...seeing my parents’ choice
- to expose young children to same -
as mere cruelty

but we
ate meat...and, so
should we not understand
how it came to be - from the flesh
of animals bred-up for such, and
how, nonetheless
the killing was shocking

my parents
unlike most, came from families
close to the land,

and so,
they had no hypocrisy
here, wore no pretence that
meat came from
butchers...let alone wrapped/sterile
in supermarket trays...and, so
we (already) had no illusions

but, the steer
came up the ramp
and, held, was killed unknowing
of its fate - as we all will be,
when the butcher cuts
us down

John Henry Calvinist