Her idea of country: 
Wordsworth or a magazine 
cover of blue and white pottery. 

The morning she tells me 
there’s an odor like something dead, 
I have to smile. It’s Roger’s 

pigs I explain. The shoats fattening 
in their confinement hutches. 
But that smell!

Truth to tell, I don’t like it either 
but it’s a question of compromise. 
Roger helps me halter the colts.

Those pigs of his are putting 
his son through college. 
A rumor arises that a huge

hog operation is planned 
just up the road. Manure lagoons.
She can only imagine. At the zoning

hearing, she raises her hand 
to object saying the stench cannot be good 
for anyone’s health, nevermind esthetics.

The hogman, red faced,gets up,
clasping his portfolio
and turns to snarl “Honey

where I come from that smell is money.” 
She decides to complain
to the county board. Pig farmers

one and all, they grin and nod. 
They’ll take it
under consideration.

—Joan Colby, Elgin, IL