Chicken Boy

Silver Laced Wyandottes, Araucanas, Leghorns
and you in their midst, not minding the pecks
as they come, better put in your place than forlorn.
It feels different, the way these biddies hector
each other, not for being queer, not for politics,
just for first dibs on the mealworms, the best
spot to roost. If only there were some trick
that could abracadabra you a downy chest and crest.
This is as close as you get, scattering grain,
refreshing bedding and water. You console yourself
that they, at least, need you. Your pity drains
and you can manage going in and conversing as you wolf
down dinner. School was OK, you lie.
Your parents suspect, but let you fake happy.

Devon Balwit walks in all weather. In her most recent collection, Spirit Spout (Nixes Mate Books, 2023), she romps through Melville’s Moby Dick. More: here