They gobble their
joy as I walk into their pen.
Their spindly legs struggle
to hold up their overgrown flesh.
They’re hungry, denied
food for the first time in their short
lives. Encircling me and the food dish
they seem expectant, unable
to read the sadness in my eyes.
I glance at my watch.
Two hours, twenty minutes
until we gather and celebrate
their lives. Thirty more and we will
slit the first throat, letting
blood drip down her beak as she bleeds
out, watching as the jerking of her body slows to a stop.
They keep warbling, huddling
close in anticipation of food
I can’t provide them. They are now
food themselves, stripped of
autonomy before we strip
them of their feathers. They are
walking drumsticks. Three hours will pass
and their still-warm corpses will be plucked, cleaned,
made into the centerpieces for our meals.
The yard will be empty,
fewer living things
in this world.
What is there here to be thankful for?