Turkeys, by Lydia Hill

Lydia is a member of the Society whose poem Turkeys was selected for the 2018 Folio, Number 72.

TURKEYS

A flock of fussing aunts,
heads swivelling, they cross the yard,
suspecting something.

The killing pen is draped with black
in the dark the turkeys are quiet;
one by one he takes them,
in his hands they do not flap. 

Head first plunge into padded cone
peashooter shot, slash, thrashing,
his last service, to hold the upturned feet.

He hangs them on hooks
we pluck quickly, before they cool,
feathers every shade of bronze, gold
the breast beneath sensuous,
quill like wing feathers require pliers
pores ooze juice onto sore fingers
speck-of-pepper mites crawl.

Before we fetch the next batch
he takes down the plucked,
they must not see, he says.

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