One Poem by Judith Steele

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Concluding the deal

The plump woman in the fur-trimmed coat
is going to eat that speckled hen
but she won’t be the one to kill it
any more than she killed the coyote
whose fur she wears.

It’s the Earth-Mother type who’ll kill
the hen she raised from a chick,
the hen whose eggs she ate,
the hen who trusts her,
quite at ease in the arms
of the woman who’ll dispatch her quickly
knowing this is the way of the world
of farming, of humans, of survival
of the fittest.

Times are hard, and getting harder.
No time for sentiment.
The hen was born to be killed,
Her speckled feathers may be used
for stuffing or for ornament.
Dead chooks and coyotes
have their uses
for the fittest.


Judith Steele is Australian. Her poetry or prose has most recently appeared in the print journal Gobshite Quarterly (Oregon USA); and web blog Plum Tree Tavern.

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