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His loud crowing, his sharp spurs,
his girth crowding the perch.
Legs thick, feathers black.
The man who said he’d take him
before winter has not called.

Cockiness can lead to
Coq au Vin. His tall comb
subject to frostbite.
His flap and strut and bluster.
The kick and dance just before
he ravishes a hen half his size.

Murmuring swagger
as he rounds up the flock,
his hackles flare at some unseen
predator. He blinks, suspicious
at my approach, knows
I won’t take his guff.

The man hasn’t called—
I offer a bit of cheddar
from my palm. He tilts an eye,
lifts the morsel, softly
drops it before the smallest hen.
His toenails ivory, soles bright gold.

MaryAnn F. Moenck is the author of the chapbook, Bees in the Attic, by Finishing Line Press, 2016. She lives in the beautiful Saint Croix River valley with her husband, on six acres of former Wisconsin farmland. MaryAnn loves being outdoors gardening, foraging and rock hounding. She also enjoys fiber arts and indulges in weaving and knitting, all for the tactile joy.

© 2022, MaryAnn F. Moenck

2 comments on “Undesirable, by MaryAnn F. Moenck

  1. kwarinsky says:

    “Cockiness can lead to Coq au Vin…” I love the ending. Did her really do that?


  2. Wow! I love this. Whether intended by the poet or not, I see this poem at two levels. The first, takes me back to my grandparents farm and the summers I spent there. The second–as I digest the daily news–brings to mind the continued dominance of men over women and human over human; the continuous struggle to determine who is in charge.


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