“I love you” I say to the chicken. “Cluck, cluck” she replies.
She loves me because I feed her
but she’s ready to attack in a second, flat
if I’m accidentally positioned between her and her chicks.
The rooster tolerates me
because I provide him food.
That, and I think that on some level
he understands that it is socially acceptable
for me to kill him.
I’m sure that Mama hen knows it as well
but she would die
before she let anyone fuck with her babies.
I often wonder what they’re all thinking
and what they think of me.
Am I some sort of god to them
because I provide food
or an idiot they laugh at
as they devour the free chicken scratch?
The garden also provides them with food
as does the compost pile.
Do they think I’m a walking garden
or compost pile?
I don’t think they judge me,
but I do wish I understood
what they’re always clucking about.
My friends, the chickens.