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Sweeping the States

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they move in swift on the Swift
Plants in six states & sift
through the faces to separate
the dark from the light

like meat & seat them in
the back of vans packed tight
like the product they pack
& who's to pick up the slack

the black & white can't cut it
so the beef stacks sell single
to feed the pack       the flock
who block passages & clog

the cogs of the machine       the process
not so swift to give & grant a wish
of a place       a stake in the land
handling the steaks for the rest

to take in       to sate the mouths
of the stock who have stock
in the business of beef & beef
with the brown who ground them

Source: Poetry (November 2007)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

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Sweeping the States

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