published in Mouth Ogres, (ed Hugh Dunkerley, Dave Swann),
Oxmarket Press. ISBN 0 9540981 0 2
My auntís cattle donít
they are hooshed on the truck
and rolling their eyes.
long lashes brush the slats.
I was small I bellowed,
bottles, ash trays.
fog horn on the Nantucket ferry
an assault to my ears.
of laughter suspended me
computations of guesswork.
example, an outing, the circus:
men with red mouths
water, crash heads with a ladder.
me, rings of spectators
all at once at some signal.
terror. I hear my motherís voice
killing of cattle is quick and humane.
dull the pain of sudden wounding.
Aunt Annís ranch I saw the squeeze chute.
held a calf in place for branding:
inflatable tube wraps the animal securely.
holding is not normal for cattle.
Ann let me climb in the chute.
stayed still, was held
all sides by the pressure.
is how my motherís cloth and body
used to pull me close, was meant to soothe me.
school psychiatrist says:
we think weíre a cow or something?í
he crazy or something?
am making a squeeze chute
keep by my bed, for daily use,
a size to contain a woman.
reading the autobiography: ĎEmergence, labelled Autisticí
by Temple Grandin)