Cock Killing

He had to go.
The flock at the new place
had a cock of its own.
Though he slept soundly in the burlap bag.
and snored like a man, still
he had been a beast in the chicken pen.
He pecked at the hand that fed him
and flew with his spurs at the eyes
that admired his tail.
Even our baby offended him when
she offered him pebbles.
So I drove a nail to the edge
of the chicken house roof, tied his
soft feet with a cord while they dozed,
and as his rival looked on like a
toad, upended him there.
He stared at me still as an egg.
surmising my nature.
I tried to be fair.
to show a man’s tough despair
over life; but that sharp knife
from the kitchen was not sharp enough.
With his neck half cut through
he hurled himself out of the noose
in a shriek of a rage to attack
the new cock of the roost who
clucked like goosed hen
at this humiliation of him.
Glazed with remorse I plunged in
and with that crude blade I hacked until
my Bird of Paradise was dead.
My hands, drenched in our two bloods,
dug a hole for him to lie in.