the grinning butcher

Beside the block the butcher stands,
a cleaver in each meaty hand,
who flays away the tender skin,
exposing flesh and blood within,
and with an evil grin, begins
to ply a blood-bespattered trade:
with eager eye and shining blade,
trims off gristle, sinew, fat—
the butcher has no use for that—
plucks the entrails, out they go!
Heedless throws the heart away,
along with liver, spleen and brain,
and then begins to break the bones
with mighty overhanded blows,
to make the limp and lifeless form
closer match the current norm.
For this the butcher hacks and rends,
discards with savage glee, and then—
prepared and packaged, skinned and stripped—
sends me back my manuscript.

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