Poetry Corner:The Extremely Dead Chicken Blues

By Richard Wallace

Sunday morning out in the yard,

helping my granddad, working hard,

he was chopping up a chicken,

chopping off its head.

When the head went flying

that chicken sure bled.


It started to run and it ran real hard

trying to get away from that barn yard,

going top speed

off it sped

The only thing missing

was its head.


I wonder if it knew it didn’t have a head?

I wonder if it knew that it was dead?

With blood on the brain

the brain  should know

but how did those feet know

it was time to go?


Two legs going just as fast as they can

trying to get away from that crazy man

that man with an axe,

not a time to walk,

but without a head,

it couldn’t squawk.


We grabbed that chicken when it ran out of steam.

put it in hot water and picked it clean,

pulled out the pin feathers,

how undignified.

That chicken was naked

but it would look good fried.


My sister cried, my mother cried,

my brother threatened to tan my hide

for laughing at the chicken,

that’s what he said.

I couldn’t see the problem,

that chicken was dead.


I buried those feathers up on the hill.

Up showed that crafty buzzard Bill

so I said to Bill,

he was flying around,

don’t come around here,

this is sacred ground.


I took my lunch, a sandwich or two

Bill asked, “What’s in that sandwich with you?”

I said, “It’s chicken.”

I thought he’d spit.

He said if that’s chicken,

I’m a hip-o-crit.


For a chicken memorial I put up a cross.

Bill was flying around and at a loss

to understand my position

on finger lick’en.

He didn’t know the ways

that I loved that chicken.


Then buzzard Phil came and said to Bill

there’s a turkey ranch just over the hill.

Let’s blow this dump,

those turkeys are plump.

So they circled once more

and left in a frump.


I took my blanket and an old flash light

I stayed by the cross for all that night

so I could save those feathers

from those ugly birds.

Mostly just so I could

have the last word.


Next Sunday morning we’ll do it again,

we’ll grab us a chicken from, the pen,

sharpen up that axe,

nothing more to be said,

and one more chicken

will lose it’s head.


If a chicken starts oinking

that’s a trick.

Go after that chicken

with a stick,

just do it,

nothing to it.


If it starts to go moo

don’t let it fool you.


Now you’ve heard the story

of the dead chicken blues.


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