For months it fattened on leftovers;
Scraps from the kitchen table
and a feast of worms
it scratched from the haggard’s underground.
Christmas week saw the tender neck
stretched on the chopping block.
Spurts of crimson on the sparkling frost,
and death giving no ease to
the body cavorting on the ground.
The barn snowed feathers.
The turkey swung like a pendulum,
as his hands worked.
We could hear the dainty pluck
of each shaft until the flesh came clean.
He’d line the table with newspaper,
plunge deep to bring forth the glossy innards.
Once cooked, it sat centre-table,
bronzed and glorious.
Never more majestic in all its living days.
We crossed ourselves, said grace.