It Takes Guts to Eat a Pet: Thanksgiving, Ohio, 1965
On the ranch, a miasma of feathers
as birds sink past their spurs into fecal ooze.
A woman in a frazzled cap, mackinaw,
and red boots, wielding a metal hook,
nabs a tom. "Use a hose when you git
home. The poop'll come right off."
My kids learn farm stuff.
They christen him "Gobble."
My first blow severs his beak,
the next his wattles. We douse him
in ashes and scalding water. I eviscerate him.
He lies on a platter, buttressed
by candied yams, bronze drumsticks
in air dressed with slit white paper.
My daughter sobs.