Poems by Margaret Marcum

“They Take Them in the Night”
             By Margaret Marcum

across freeways bleeding,
freight trains screaming:
we are taking ourselves
away further to no place
They take them in the night
when there is no light
to reveal each face,
contorted with quiet
horror, horror we
will never know
like they will,
only always will

They take them in the night
for the same reason they keep
them in no place surrounded
by not glass walls—rather walls designed
like society’s hunger for no sight,
a greed we can never fully feed
We take them in the night because
we have lost the insight: thou
shalt not kill is not the same
as thou shalt not murder
We take them in the night
since we do not remember
why we would not take them in broad daylight

“Another Cow in the Machine”
             By Margaret Marcum

rests in a field, blue
skies and gentle moos.
There’s the man that
always feeds her.
She loves that
hand. She loves
him like she loves
her newborn baby
and then it is time.

They line them up and she watches
her friends go one after another
one. Now it is her turn
but she doesn’t budge. She feels
something is not right. He whistles at her and she
recognizes it as food, as friendly. She trots forward eagerly
as he holds open the door and she is met
with a bullet in the head.

We rape our sister
when the times are not right
for us
We rape our sister
trees aflame with spirits
We rape our sister
when we’re always looking
We rape our sister
when we sacrifice sanity
for pleasure

We will meet again
at the bridge
At the threshold of heaven and earth,
there’s a tall toll

A voice

asks where you have been
You respond

             By Margaret Marcum

woeful eyes, two black holes
holds a frail body fraying
at the edges miraculously
still standing. Tonight
this one, will be met by another
human from which she
will be able to feel
so much hatred
from this human
taking her breath, bullet
her last farewell, forcing
her third black hole.

The brute beats her body with a stick
sharpened on both rocks and
metal designed specially for stealing
truth and silence. The lies punctuated
by bloodied cries until her neck succumbs, until
her meat is to his liking—
torturing them slowly is the most
effective method. He does not
stop, he has only just begun,
moans met with more blows then

Not a single one of the billions daily
can fathom why when they cry
their throats are ripped apart
from the rest of themselves
along with other organs cast into bins
labelled: Delicacies

The moon screams
across the black.
Another killing, another
is coming—
pain without end

We count our blessings
at dinner tables, while
they count the days they’ve gone
without feeling
a breeze, being able
to walk, or see their family.
They tell their children scary stories,
cautionary tales to warn them of men,
Deliverers of Death.

They come here to collect with their
sack of souls, the first one to accrue
was their own. They snuff out life like
just another flame, releasing
fire to calves melting blackness
between blankness of spots, fading
their fingerprints to a nameless mass—reduced
to ghosts in bodies,
they set them free.

They raise up their feeble eyes one last time—
a monster on two legs.

- Margaret Marcum is currently a graduate student in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. She graduated with a B.A. (emphasis on poetry) from the University of Redlands, where she was a member of the Proudian Interdisciplinary Honors Program. Her literary interests include animal rights, healing the collective through personal narrative, vegan studies, and ecofeminism. Her poems previously appeared in Children, Churches, and Daddies, Amethyst Review, Literary Veganism, Flora Fiction and Writing in a Woman’s Voice. She is a finalist for the 2021 Rash Award in Poetry sponsored by the Broad River Review.

Copyright©2021 by Margaret Marcum. All Rights Reserved.