Grandma's Big Chicken Dinner
by Robin Offerdahl


Have you ever watched a chicken strut?
Quickly thrusting her head forward
the body slowly following after.

Or her body clamped between your father’s hands?
The way her head remains motionless
occupying precisely the same point in space
as he slowly begins moving her body

_______Up … Down … Right …
_______Left … Forward … Back …
_______In small horizontal circles …

The grin on his face?
As you watch with stunned amazement
at how she seems to have rehearsed her entire life
for this very moment.

The way her body reflexively rolls and rolls?
Across the lawn and into the strawberry patch.
Now ten. Now twenty feet away or more.
The way her head remains motionless
occupying precisely the same point in space
beyond the steely blade of Grandpa’s hatchet
thrust into a blood-stained block of wood.

A sight for five-year-old eyes?
Or an army tank rolling over a soldier’s arm
as he screams and writhes in pain
though only a distant image now
off an old black-and-white television set
with twenty bluish tubes exposed in the back
covered in dust and cobwebs, like the memories
of one summer Sunday afternoon so many years ago
just before Grandma’s big chicken dinner.






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