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August 19, 2012

A Little Chicken? ~ Jonathan Witherspoon Huey

Photo credit: Ann Larie Valentine

As spokesman for the silent millions of chickens in industrial slaughterhouses at present, for those numberless chicken multitudes of the past and for the endless slaughter to come, I tell you that they have not, do not presently and will never give a damn about your self-righteous indignation.

Moreover, the thought of y’all lining up outside a fast-food chain because you think it symbolizes something and represents a certain moral fortitude and strength of conviction in the public sphere—well, they couldn’t give a cluck about that either.

As baby chicks gather at the feet of one whom, with outstretched and loving hand scatters seeds, so do your own children gather in a cheap plastic booth & eagerly devour the pulverized remains of baby chicks.

Chickens are a forgiving species even as they are cut down and their lives stamped out before the evening meal.

But they don’t forgive stupidity and they hate the thought of being eaten by a person who believes, through some Chik-fil-A variation on transubstantiation, that the deity in whose presence all hearts are naked and utterly exposed, would look down with pride on these multitudes in Arkansas and Oklahoma and the Great State of Texas and Mississippi too, lined up around the block, mouths watering for chicken flesh and an imperial pint of high-fructose anything, sweaty dollars in denim pockets, the smell of the sweat of their bodies in the summer sun, the good order of the line they form across the parking lot, their dignity, courage and warm-heartedness radiating through myriad strip-malls for all to see; that the deity would think this display in some way brings about the divine will on earth and that those who take part signify anything more than an already established consumer habit loosely joining an alienated socially conservative patchwork to say:

“We are here and we believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, and by gawd, we are gonna take this here chicken as a sacrament and by the good-eatin’ of it, renew our covenant with Christ.”

Well, the chickens I know around the block are calling bull-shite on that.

Jonathan Witherspoon Huey is a working-class poet living in Boulder, Colorado and was born and raised in the Great State of Texas. His first book, Automatic Zygote, is available through BlazeVox Press. He can be spotted behind the espresso bar at Folsom Street Coffee Co.

 

 

Editor: Jamie Morgan

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