The Chick

Peeping and peeping in your hand, 
Gasping for air it’s not ready to breathe,
A chick, half alive, half dead,
Under sticky feathers.

Wrapped in them.
Trapped in them.
Shrouded in them.

“I thought it was rotten,”
The other girl wails.

Screaming and screaming, make that girl sob.
Shatter her shell like she shattered the chick’s
Warm egg, stolen from brooding mother’s nest.
The feathers shudder against your skin when you yell.

Cup it in your hand,
Embrace it in your palms,
Caress it with your thumb.

Comfort it with gentle whispers
Of funeral-goers.

Crying and crying, it struggles,
Legs slick with amnion,
Abdomen not fully formed,
Organs spilling onto your skin, staining you red.

Find a way to end its suffering.
Crush it under a cinder block, maybe, or
Pound it with a hammer.

Anything to stop its useless strain
Against the inevitable.

Dying and dying, it slows,
Feet stop kicking,
Wings stop flailing,
Blood starts drying.

Throw it over the back fence,
Bury it in the long grass,
Pray the hawks find it soon.

For, alas,
It’s still peeping.

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