shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Peter Austin is a Professor of English at Seneca College, Toronto, Canada. Over 200 of his poems have appeared, in various magazines in Canada, the USA, the UK and several other countries. He has also published 3 collections, and a novella in verse, In the Event, will appear in the Fall of this year.

Peter Austin

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Like pestilence, the rumour spread:
Untouchables had killed a cow
And skinned it (this, the laws allow,
So long as it's already dead).

A mob of finer pedigree
Extracted from their hiding place
These castoffs of the human race
And hanged them from a banyan tree.

An autopsy, of course, was done
Upon the cow, and found murrain,
But on the men, so rudely slain,
They didn't bother doing one.

Based on an actual event, which
took place near Delhi in 2004.
Murrain is a disease of cattle.