Families divvied up the Sunday paper like an evening’s roast chicken.
The eldest claimed the front section. Sighs, an occasional mumble
wafted down the hall from the TV room. A cousin followed the too-loud
wail of a cop show, bearing a tray piled high with a breast, green beans.
The back barely held any meat but mama swore it was her favorite.
Refused to take another piece to keep up her strength. I only need
my chicken back and Dear Abby. Don’t fuss now.
Comics, the last portion, were always snatched first. An auntie’s favorite
grandchild grabbed the jumble of color bright on gray-white. One
greasy hand tore into newsprint, the other held a gnawed drumstick.
The adults fought over buttermilk-soaked livers and gizzards fried up
special by the youngest daughter. The quiet one waited through dinner
for a beloved chicken wing and the smeared remnants of Charlie Brown.
None of the children wanted the thighs. They refused them with a little huff.
Tasted of blood was the consensus. Like the financial pages with its odd
lines of numbers, they and the chicken neck were the last to go.