Death Of A Chick

As seen at Coffee House Writers.

Sunlight bright,
the air brisk,
snow blankets
the dead, frozen ground.

I shuffle through the gateway of
America’s famous farm store.
My love goes one way,
I dodder the other.

There,
in the middle aisle,
two galvanized
water troughs,
filled with colorful pullet chicks.
Heat lamps warming
their tiny bodies.

It is there,
Little baby,
your fragile body covered
with fluffy black feathers, 
you lay,
gasping for air.

Your trough mates,
peck at your body
as you struggle to breathe.
Their tiny beaks
clasping your shanks,
Dragging you.

My heart,
breaking,
I seek help.
None found,
not even my love.

I return to you.
Weaker.
I see your life
leaving your
wee body.

Tears
rain down
my cheeks

I turn,
my love
has returned.

It is too late.
Your body
still.
Gasping for air
ceases.

My love
seeks help.
No problem
for him
to find.

My love
clutches my palm.
“We are getting out of here,”
He says.

We leave
this place
that is
America’s Farm Store.

Whose employees
too busy,
or
hides away
from some people
and
helps others.

No time
to save a life.

Little Chick,
gasping for air.
Were you sick?
Or
a seed stuck in your throat?

We will never know.

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