fowl mood

Rita’s eyes are as rimmed and round
as the eyes of an affronted chicken
scratching for bugs and other scraps
in the dusty wastes of her filial duty
I’m a fully paid up member of the NHS
she says, wagging an admonitory claw
in my approximate direction
waltzing in here with your can-haves, your might-haves
I’m not interested in excuses, mate
if I’d come in on a boat, washed up on the beach
there’d be a long line of people waiting to help
but no, don’t you worry, we’ll take care of it
we always have and we always will
now then, mum, do you want this pie or not?
she rips open the packaging
and thrusts the foil tray beneath her face
why don’t I heat it up? she says

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