Even More of the Flightless
Important chicken poetry coming up,
though no binary fantasies shall deconstruct
into raucous biddy enjambment.
Grandfatber always kicked Grandmother's chickens away
while he sat whittling under the Oak,
Those ruddy, Cherokee cheeks sweating even in the shade
as sweltering Carolina summers and bifocaled
old women melted him away in his seventies;
(Nothing heard by telephone,
cackling when he put the speaker to his mouth
or laid down to rest from the planting or harvesting,
On the flowered sofa
fussing with him to take off this boots,
putting The Liberty News under his feet);
But watching was Grandma's joy,
Haystack Calhoun and the Nature Boy,
wrestling on Saturday night
on the Philco black and white,
jumping up and jumping down
fists flying with each takedown;
Her fussing when he kicked her chickens--
He was a man of the Land not of the Leghorn;
Course he still cut off their heads for
with a whistle of his axe,
quick and clean;
So much better than Grandmother's
Flung blood and feathers,
The live body's flight
After wringing its neck.
Must take chickens seriously.)
my brother and I hated that rooster!
I'll give you Mean!
Why that Leghorn from hell,
with the perfidious, featherless rear,
That wily old bastard,
laid for us kids from under the porch
flying at us spurs first
when we snuck out to play.
You had to admire his fierce
Protecting his brood
or just plain crazed for children's blood
Therefore, I must insist
That you take chickens seriously.
The greatest chicken lit will not be televised,
but written by neurotic poultry
flirting with free verse
or thrown helplessly into concrete idioms,
wallowing in dirt-poor sentience;
on the identity crises of Rhode Island Reds
and the propensity of White Leghorns
to transfer insecurities of undifferentiated
as violence enacted on certain small children
will be written but will probably not help chicken poetry endure.
I pledge allegiance to the celebration of chicken poetry,
And the underappreciated poultry for which it stands,
One species, flightless but enduring,
With free range and corn for all.
Copyright © Thomas Martin | Year Posted 2015
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