Judith Skillman
A Glass Chicken

Perhaps because it is more artifice than art
we are attracted to it, hungry
for what it represents—
this chicken with a price tag.

Appetites being expensive, manners aside,
the chicken rules the shop
where fluted objets d’art proliferate.
This hen is a queen.

Never dirty, not in danger—
for there are no dogs
here. This is a life of privilege.
Poverty forgotten, the glass chicken sits in the window.

Hollow insides, made in the glory hole,
that word obscene, full of connotation.
Are we in awe as the fire rages
inside the oven where this chicken

cooked with no aroma, no gizzard or liver,
its substance arcane?
Must we admit the muse, a feather plucked
and clucked over,

a bit of bloodied meat to be chased with its head cut off
around the dull yard
grown now cold and hard
and tough as memory.

glass chicks