All posts tagged: rationing

The Butcher’s Poleaxe – #VEDay

Somewhere there is a poleaxe, your sweat worked into the staff from unbroken nights, where the pig must not squeal. Milk bottle spectacles but no flame or light catching in the glass reflection. All of it done in the silence that cannot be broken, unlike the rules you’re cleaving with each precise blow.   Hands returned to steering wheel, on dark lanes winding home, nose to windscreen foot light on the accelerator, you mouth curled in prayer. May they not come back this way with the fat bulbs unsown on London, or Crewe, or elsewhere deemed vital. May they not discard their leftovers on these field tonight. Let the silence be unbroken. VE Day 2020 Not long ago my mother told me about the poleaxe my great-grandfather kept in the garage. He used it during the Second World War to slaughter pigs, as it was more effective at killing them quickly before there was chance for them to make any sound. This was during rationing, when there were limitations on the slaughter of livestock. My …