Confluence (2)

The headless chicken monster strikes again. Another disclaimer. This poem’s also a little graphic. You’ve been warned.






I don’t eat chicken anymore. But not because I stood at Mama’s right elbow,
saw her strip the skins from onion, tomatoes, green peppers. A willing witness,
I watched her render their varied flesh into equal shapes. I gloried in the mixture
of salt, black pepper, paprika that joined them in pot and pan on the white stove.
But the large wood-handled knife, the same stainless steel as the sink, taught me
caution. Magician with the blade, she showed me the sleight-of-hand dismemberment
requires. But I balked at the pale pebbled-skin, the blush-pink flesh under a gauzy
caul of membrane. The first slice at the joint, the meat of it peeled from bone
like carnal butter. A cap of bone showed bright white under the kitchen lights. I
fumbled through the second slice, nicked the whitened knuckle to the brown-red
marrow underneath. I could not get used to handling the firm, sometimes pulpy,
flab of headless chicken. Its cavity stuffed with bloody-wrapped scraps. She stood
silent and blank as I floundered. She moved away then: back to the stovetop, back
to its cookware. Away from the carnage at the sink’s bottom, away from me.
You should buy all of your meat precut when you’re grown.


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

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