This is one of a series of poems, written by my Grandmother, that represent a portrait of her childhood in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, places and people she loved who are, for the most part, no longer with us. She dedicates each and every poem to her daughters, and has kindly given me permission to share them with you all, enjoy…
The Dead Chicken
Once we saw a chicken, dead in its cage.
It’s two companions gazed at us through the wire,
Showing no fear of death, nor interest in
The living, just standing there, feet in the mire,
Eyes very bright, unblinking. You might have thought
That they could see right through us – back to a farm
Perhaps, or just someone’s back garden; They may
Have had a premonition that we meant them harm.
If they could read the sign, they’d know it said
They cannot leave the market till they’re dead.
© Dorothy Davis-Sellick 1998 onwards