Cinderella’s Coach, Pandora’s Box

(After the Ball)

“How long has this been goin’ on” —Ace

Back then, it was an open range, the stock
unwanted, caught in fence wire, tossed in back-
end alleys. It was inhumane, the cock
so uncontrolled had crowed; the fillies lacked

a choice. As if by magic, nine-some men
said: “How can this be true? Let’s free them all
to make the call to rip and roar—un pen
the gals to void their bowels to ball.”

Safe and Legal, was the meme, just one thing
won’t do. Don’t let them live or breathe or cry—
make sure you get them small before they sing.
They really aren’t alive, you see; small fry

will never grow to be a colt, no foal
unless it stands will ever run a race
or steeple chase or bow a knee or roll.
Make sure they’re dead and never see your face.

Though nowadays, haste makes waste, and it costs
much more to burn it up or bury it.
Too much work, no play, makes one dull, exhausts
the mind. How to get rid of all this shit?

So here’s the scheme, ingeniously conceived.
Let’s take the hearts and lungs, clip the livers,
make paté, the eyes and veins (you believed
were burnt.) Let these fillies be the givers.

We’ll make a mint, and we’ll screw the public
too. Both will fund us, unbeknownst to them.
We’ll sell the goods through partial birth; we’re sick!
So what!? We’ll even take some from the stem.

Who will know? They don’t care. It’s only cells,
they tell themselves. Let’s keep it under wraps.
And no one needs to know how bad this smells.
And that one there; make sure you check her straps.

Charles (Charlie) Southerland lives on his farm in North-Central Arkansas where he bales hay, mills lumber, hunts and fishes. When he has time, he writes poetry on just about every subject. He is published in Trinacria, The Rotary Dial, First Things, The Road Not Taken and other journals. He has been nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize and is a finalist in the 2015 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Contest. He likes to write sonnets, villanelles and sapphics.