Of Hens and Cockerels


K. Barratt

There was cognac and cigars;

Black ties and snowy handkerchiefs peaking

Shyly over the puffed chests of

The mighty cockerels singing their

Dominion over the hen henhouse,

The sun, the sky, the seasons,

The world, the stars.

And after the pleasantries and the

Polite laughter, there came the pecks.

But it was okay.

We, the hens, had to put aside all

The pc sillines, because money

Was being auctioned to save children

And donkeys and probably some grannies

From terrible, sad loneliness.

This was our sacrifice.

Except that we didn’t sign for it.

Nor did we sign for the looks, the hands,

The touches, the slimy words that

Felt like vomit. It was scary at times

And mostly down right ugly, but it’s okay

If it’s for charity, apparently.

And the cockerels sang harder

And flapped their wings,

As, we, the hens, became snakes,

Slithering away, to the right,

To the left, wondering if the day

Would ever come when we feel safe

In our world that is supposed to be

Shared, but some have a bigger share than

The rest. And the night ended.

We, the hens, ran home to wash it away.

And we bathe and bathe.

Until the water got cold.

And we washed some more.



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