Rooster by Lily Lyons

Fergius Chipopoli (My Mean Old Rooster)


Your eyes were yellow suns of evil


Dull and full of reptilian instinct


Brimming with hate for me


Whenever I dared to step inside your yard


And feed your flock


Your claws were sharp and flexible


Built to aid your beak


That you feigned to use to scratch the ground


In search of food


While drawing ever closer to me


I taunted you


By climbing onto the roof


Where your beak could not snap at my fingers


And where you had to tilt your head shamefully


To see me


Your yellow eyes


Squinting and simmering in the heat


Of the summer sun


One day you flew at me


Slapping wings


And slashing spurs


Cold beak bared;


I caught you in the air and held you there


I would not wring your neck


And could not cause your death


So I cursed you and soon


Your wings began to droop


And your face turned grey


You stood on one foot in the sun all day


Too sick to move and too cursed to die


For months, I watched you try to die


Last night I dreamt you were still alive


With hunger in your beady eyes


I stroked your beak and fed you

You did not bite.