Serf’s Blood

Joseph Farley

Science tests have searched our blood

and found a gene that makes men fat.

A third of the nation has it,

destined to be large and slow.


The brain is also affected,

being less dense in the obese

and prone to loss of knowledge

when flesh sags and hair turns gray.


What advantage could this have been

to our forgotten ancestors?

No use to kings or warriors;

maybe a blessing to others,


For those who are tied to the land

and used the same as a cow

an ox or a sheep to be sheared,

docile and domesticated.


We bear our burdens in silence,

chop wood, tend herds, and plow fields.

We belong to the Fall harvest

and doff caps to the wise slim lord.

About the Work

Joseph Farley

Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory for 24 years. His books include Suckers, For the Birds, and Longing for the Mother Tongue (March Street Press).

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