A dirt-smudged snout emerges
with champagne-cork POP,
surreptitious snuffle, skitter.
Whiskery chin. Spiral tail. Pale rump
reflecting strawberry-pink and rose sunset.
Wings furl over picnic shoulders,
short ribs taper to hams.

In leather helmets, goggles,
pigs check stabilizers, altimeters, magnetos,
then, as if a klaxon sounds, up and away,
weaving across the moon.
They dream fluttering ticker tape,
bottom dropping from pork-bellies.
Long after muzzy midnight, sun dribbles
a runny yolk horizon,
as they fly the missing man formation,
one lost over Smithfield, VA –
processed, headcheese to knucklebone.

Shoats whistle Fly Me to the Moon,
as they wriggle under the rail,
press close against great slumbering sows.
They’ll not be BBQ plates, breakfast buffets,
nor will they grace the spit;
they’ll grow to become footballs:
between uprights before a crowing crowd!

Ann Howells edited Illya’s Honey for eighteen years. Recent books are: So Long As We Speak Their Names (Kelsay Books, 2019) and Painting the Pinwheel Sky (Assure Press, 2020). Chapbooks Black Crow in Flight and Softly Beating Wings were published through contests. Ann is a multiple Pushcart nominee.