winner winner (20160620)

grandma used to come over
for sunday dinner with her husband
–always called by name, never grandpa–

she and my mom would cook
enough for seven or eight of us
usually fried chicken

i don’t know what grandma thought of
my mother’s moving from husband
to husband like she was conducting
a wide-area survey but then
she was on her third husband

from the coop behind the house
grandma would pick two chickens
and wring their necks
washing and plucking them
in a tub of steaming water
until the backyard stank of wet hen
though some feathers were always
found during the meal

someone volunteered
–i think my brother, which
should have been a red flag–
to cut the throats
and hang the birds by their feet until
it was time to dress them and cook them

they gave up our plot of land
when my parents split up
goodbye to the chickens
the horses, too

from then on
everything was bloodless
and bought at the store

16 thoughts on “winner winner (20160620)”

  1. Your poem could have easily been an inspiration of a Norman Rockwell painting. πŸ˜€ Seriously, I loved all the twisted stuff going on with grandma! Ya, I’d definitely go for bloodless after a childhood like that. Funny and strange!

      1. Absolutely. Everything has had a hand in making me who I am, including all the avenues I chose not to go down.

      2. Same here! God, it’s such a relief to embrace my weirdness and know I’m not the only demented person.
        I think this is the part when we join hands and sing kumbaya πŸ™‚

  2. When I started reading, I was thinking of big family get togethers with lots of food. Oh, how nice. Then, it was like Jane Smiley meets Stephen King. I think bloodless food must have been a relief (well, not for brother, I suppose.).

      1. Yes, of course, and I didn’t mean to insult you or your family. Sorry, if I offended you–not my intention at all. I was reacting to the poem and kind of picturing some version of American Gothic.

      2. Please, I’m not offended. πŸ˜€

        I enjoy your comments. My childhood was strange to put it mildly. But then maybe we all had strange childhoods.

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