About Chicken

She is in the kitchen. Groceries clutter the counters: carrots with their leafy tops, potatoes with their sunken eyes. She stands with slumped shoulders. She is tired. She removes the chicken from its Styrofoam enclosure as blood and juices flow to the counter. She grabs for a paper towel. Blood drips to the counter anyway. The chicken is whole, not already de-skinned, de-boned, and cut-up. As she pulls the worn carving board and large glinting knife out of the cupboard a man walks up behind her. With briefcase in hand he places a quick kiss on her cheek. He lets out a sigh as he glances at the poultry quivering on the counter. She doesn’t look at him. An almost unperceivable shudder runs down her back.

The house is noisy. Children fight loudly in the background. No one goes to see why. The evening news blares on TV: drought, crime sprees, stabbings. She sets the table without looking as she puts every plate and fork in its place. She pours milk in all glasses except one. This one she fills with apple juice and places it in front of the smallest plate. The sounds of silverware --plink, plink, plink --summon the family. Without grace or much ado, hands grab for the nearest steaming bowl. They serve themselves and set the bowl down again. She is not at the table.

She is in the kitchen. She loads the dishes into the dishwasher and wipes down the counter where congealed blood from the chicken has pooled. She puts everything in its place. Finished, she leaves the kitchen and walks up the stairs slowly, one at a time. She does not skip over a single stair. No one notices. The kitchen is spotless except for the butcher’s knife which sits next to the hollow carcass on the counter.


At 9:02 PM, Blogger The Merchant of Dreams said...

A new blog? Nice intro to a short story..what does she do next?

"the poultry quivering on the counter" is the only issue...why is it quivering - earthquake?...Keep on writing about this...
best regards...The Merchant of Dreams

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonimo said...

I wondered about the quivering chicken myself - but was sure there was some significance! Was there? Ronda

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Sharron said...

I see what you mean about quivering. Jell-O quivers. Barring an earthquake I don't imagine chicken would. I laugh now when I think about it. Sometimes I lose the logic. This is why feedback is very helpful. Thanks.

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonimo said...

HI Sharon. I enjoyed reading this descriptive piece. I felt the emotions of an exhausted woman doing what is expected of her without the acknowledgment of those around her. It's wonderful to hear so much without any dialogue.


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