You have an ad blocker! We understand, but...
PoetrySoup is a small privately owned website. Our means of support comes from advertising revenue. We want to keep PoetrySoup alive, make it better, and keep it free. Please support us by disabling your ad blocker
on PoetrySoup. See how to enable ads
while keeping your ad blocker active. Also, did you know you can become a PoetrySoup Lifetime Premium Member
and block ads forever...while getting many more great
features. Take a look!
The Early Purges
I was six when I first saw kittens drown.
Dan Taggart pitched them, 'the scraggy wee shits',
Into a bucket; a frail metal sound,
Soft paws scraping like mad.
But their tiny din
Was soon soused.
They were slung on the snout
Of the pump and the water pumped in.
'Sure, isn't it better for them now?' Dan said.
Like wet gloves they bobbed and shone till he sluiced
Them out on the dunghill, glossy and dead.
Suddenly frightened, for days I sadly hung
Round the yard, watching the three sogged remains
Turn mealy and crisp as old summer dung
Until I forgot them.
But the fear came back
When Dan trapped big rats, snared rabbits, shot crows
Or, with a sickening tug, pulled old hens' necks.
Still, living displaces false sentiments
And now, when shrill pups are prodded to drown
I just shrug, 'Bloody pups'.
It makes sense:
'Prevention of cruelty' talk cuts ice in town
Where they consider death unnatural
But on well-run farms pests have to be kept down.
| Best Poems | Short Poems
Email Poem |
Top Seamus Heaney Poems
Analysis and Comments on The Early Purges
Provide your analysis, explanation, meaning, interpretation, and comments on the poem The Early Purges here.