The Old Rooster

28 October 2013

The old rooster
pecked among coconut husks
and spires of smoke.

He was a fighting cock
who woke the neighbourhood
for morning prayer,
strutting arrogantly through the yard.

He had evaded death
until now.

The parang‘s edge was ready,
and just before I took his head off,
his thoughts became mine.

There was fear,
there were the stilts of a house,
a rusted fence and an eggshell,
there was the old, pointless pride.

I heard the whisk of a broom
and a flame catch on newspaper next door,
then the blade came down.

That night,
as I sat down to a thin-boned soup,
I noticed there was blood on my cuffs.

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