Young boys prepare to slaughter chickens
they’ve pampered and hand-fed for weeks
now, first killing for both.
The same stump where they learned to split
kindling for a snug fit in the belly
of the old cook range:
The axe honed to a feather’s edge.
White carcasses bleeding under a blank sky,
lined up in single file according to terms
laid down by those who came before.
The reasons given are sound, it’s how things
are done, the ground littered with feathers
and entrails, the stump red,
The stolid harvest noted in sheepish grins.
Copyright © Robert Boyd | Year Posted 2020
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