Peter Chapman Poetry

cold turkey

the boy was sad
he imagined this
after breaking the bone,
hearing the sharp snap
carrying off his wish

his father was all day
in the woods, his sights
empty for hours til
the bird flew in & died

the day was festive,
his family gathered
around the old table
for the big meal

his brother & sister
were back at college,
he missed them already
and could find nothing
to brighten his mood

he was hungry and took the bird
from the refrigerator, peeling back
the foil to get at the meat

he pulled away the breastbone
and sat down to think
what he would want and before
he was sure, he decided the left
hand would have this wish, and
the right hand this one, and he
smiled and pulled the bone apart

and felt like Napoleon
in the Russian snows,
though he knew little then
of history, or failure