It could be seen across the eight lanes
of the South Ring Road,
through February trees,
a large white sign with the words—
The Meat Factory, Public Welcome.
And in the following weeks,
while trapped every morning in lifeless traffic,
we could see queues of young boys
waiting among the tangle of sheds,
their breath visible even from a distance
as they stood in line
clutching their plastic bags
of freshly gathered frogspawn,
hoping to have them transformed
into all manner of beast.
They will return in late autumn,
after the fetid incubation of summer,
with their receipt stubs in grubby hands,
and all sorts of creatures will be ushered out
stumbling into the quiet light.
Malformed and already malnourished
they will be led with bits of old rope
and tied up in the bits of field,
gravelled with broken bottles,
found on the edges of the outer suburbs.
And winter will find them forgotten
and frightened in its freezing nights,
huddled in abandoned cars
or hidden in the ditches,
wondering when they will be fed again.
And come spring
the boys will begin to queue again,
vague sketches in their tracksuit pants’ pockets,
again sitting out the boredom of summer
waiting to see what the factory spawns.