The headless chicken monster. It seems like everyone has some version of a farm or backyard horror story about one. Even me.

Be warned. This poem is a little graphic. You can blame Poets & Writers magazine.





I don’t eat chicken anymore. But not because Grandmama stalked into the small yard
behind her wooden house. Where I sat watching the chickens we’d bought that morning
scratch at the yellow feed. She grabbed a bird by its neck and, like a whipcrack in the air,
I heard its small bones give way under the pressure. She moved in shorthand: the grab,
the windup, the snap, the cleavering. Nothing was left after the whirlwind but the bird’s
drunken run across the yard. As if to escape; as if in search of its way back home. It ran
in ever smaller circles until, bloodless, it fell on its side. Steps from its head lying sightless
and beak up at the yard’s edge. After the scalding, the plucking, the frying, its transformation 
into a fried favorite, I chose the crisp comfort of gingerbread, the cool whiteness of milk.

Curious to see more of my writing?  Visit me – Brenda Joyce Patterson – on Facebook, Twitter, and my website.

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