The great beast is gone
the goat of all our shadows
casts his grey lot no more.

His ashes far out-weighing
the innumerable tons of fowl
already long forgotten, digested

by all and some but not us;
the great chicken nation
who's nightmare now may begin anew

under the drench of other feathers.
Of all jokes from the first
we have been the butt

the chicken, the road
and now like him
that great final crossing.

We lack little in ourselves
see the confidence of any cock
strutting towards death.

See us running, headless
man's metaphor, our future.
See the peasant woman

rough-handed, bruise-hearted
babushka of the perennial pogrom.
We pray to the Popes of reason

prayers of egg teeth written on blood
chicken-scratched into the air
asking simply to know why us?

Why are we the unchosen, cast out, derided?
Chicken Little you notice
not Chicken Strop or Chicken Courageous

but instead always more paltry poultry
always Jewish penicillin
and bred for the bone.

And we are afraid, chicken
and have every right to be
but we're angry also

if you'd only ever notice.
Running headlong towards our fate
unable to pull back at the last

roasted and boiled until
even our heroes are kept well caged
counting for corn down in Chinatown.

How many of our children
have you fried unborn?
Over-easy maybe, but only for you.



April 1st, 2005

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