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The Milk of Human Kindness

By: Mathew Nicolson

Page 1, Dedicated to the milk companies who still haven\'t replied to my queries.


I am first aware of existence

when the hormones enter my blood.

They stretch and push with forces

threatening to envelop all I am

and all I have known.

All I ever will know.

The groans eek through layer upon layer

of engorged flesh,

but still I hear them.



Blinding, deafening visions;

the stench; thud onto rough ground.

Stumble over grass, lost in frost,

our legs inadequate for use

but fit for purpose.

Sounds of horror and sounds of joy,

of pain, profit and priorities,

this is a gift;

our God's grace.


I, like millions aside me,

take a glance at mother

her bonnie face engulfed by wire,

tubes inject and draw liquid

from nature's processing plant,

the grimy hand drag us back

out of sight, out of mind.

They have short memories.


Though the whimpers of fear

we grunt as we grind together

we see, through a gap in the wood,

our brothers line onto the towel one by one.

They enjoy the use of their new muscles,

so tender and delicious.

With a blast they can't hear

and a flash they can't see,

they fall, one by one, onto a red canvas.


I notice a stump beyond the metal.

No - two stumps.

Black turns to blue as my gaze lifts up

and then to pink, dotted with red.

Oh, what beautiful colours!

The stumps rise and fall, up and down,

before they stamp to a halt by my side.

I brave a glance at the sinuous texture,

my heart learning to beat ever quicker,

and notice the same flexile pattern

adorning my brothers' backs.

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