Do Not Call Them Pigs

Javelina: A collared peccary or piglike hoofed mammal having a dark gray coat with a white collar.

Last night, a family of javelinas
paid a visit—
smashing flower pots
tearing out plants
roots and all
scattering debris
over the porch
their musk
still skunking
morning air.

Though I do not know
them well, these peccaries
remind me not to call them
pigs. They are not pigs –
who feed and clothe
and give of their skin
for footballs,
their hearts
for surgical parts.

No. Javelinas –
destructive
treacherous
malodorous
in their white collars
and dark coats—
do not remind me of pigs,
but of another species
with which I am
better acquainted.

 
 Nancy Jesse

Nancy Jesse

Nancy Jesse is a member of the Wisconsin Writers Association and the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. She grew up on a dairy farm in northwestern Wisconsin and studied English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She now lives in Madison with her husband, Paul.