Rooster Blues

Jen Karetnick

The just-hatched chicks were let loose as favors.

Barely dry, they were let loose like favors,

a flavicomous cloud dropped among toddlers.

The birthday boy picked them up and held them.

The party guests picked them up and crushed them.

They forgot about the “pet” in petting farm.

We gathered the chicks in a cowboy hat.

Collected chicks in the well of a straw hat,

and took four of them home to make them fat.

We shouldn’t have named them after cousins.

We learned never to name birds after cousins.

Ben didn’t make it; the others mashed him.

The three grew an aubade of combs: All roosters.

And took to the stew pot our dream of brooders.

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