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.