In the Fall we'd gather the family together
the annual harvest of birds.
To clean and freeze some of our chickens,
as food for the coming year.
With the lawn the colors of Christmas
we pulled the entrails out. We'd catch
their legs with stiff wire snag
while they pecked the ground for food.
They'd flop on the grass
for what seemed like days;
blood spurts shooting from severed necks
as their thumb-sized hearts slowly stopped.
We'd scald them in a huge iron pot
with a wood fire for the heat. Pluck
the feathers (save them for pillows)
and pull the insides out. Find the liver,
gizzard and heart and save them with the rest.
For washing and rinsing we'd use zinc-plated tubs,
rolled from the wash-house to lawn.
We'd cut some up into legs thighs, and breast,
others we'd simply freeze whole.
And this is how it was done:
Daddy would grab them, head in his fist
and with two quick twirls pull it off.
I was too small, without the strength
to twirl them in the air. So I'd hold them down
my foot on their face and pull till the silence began.
Kenny A. Chaffin has written poetry and fiction for over 10 years and has published poems in Vision Magazine, Array, Esc!, The Bay Review, The Caney River Reader, poetandwriter.com, WritersHood, Star*Line, MiPo, 14-4-30, and Melange. He lives in Denver, Colorado where he works as a Software Engineer to supplement his poetry income.
Anders Lisa Gordon Jan Savanyu Joel Fry Tom Bell Jerry Hicks Kenny A. Chaffin Danny P. Barbare