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BellaOnline Literary Review
All in Red 1 by Mark Berkery

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Pork Shank

Terri Johansen

How much did that pork shank cost you Pa?
Looks like a bigun’ – feed lots of mouths.
Where you going with your piece of prize pig Pa?

I seen you lurking at the butcher’s stand.
Laying back low, like youse was only previewing.
But then quick – dart to the counter,
Point at the one and step back again,
Waiting while he wrapped it in the heavy white paper.

How much did that pork shank cost you pa?
Is that the one?
Glory be! Cut its throat.
Salvation lies in the blood of the prize pork.

Down the street, take a left,
Past the Woolworth store
Past the man sweeping the street
Deeper, deeper into real man’s land.
To the shelter – soup kitchen.

Slinking, shrinking, lay that pork shank on the steps,
Ring the bell and run.
Run pa, run. Run for your life.
Cause that pork shank ain’t gonna save your soul.

How much did that pig meat cost you pa?
Maybe you’re one step closer to heaven,
With hell breathing hot, closing in?
Can a man’s salvation be bought,
For the price of a piece of pig?
Maybe you shoulda’ bought the whole hog.

How much did that pork shank really cost you Pa?