Chickens at the Fair

by Michael Mack

Del, Dave and me
Surrounded by State Fair—
Was I eight or nine?

In the farm exposition,
Cows, sheep, and hogs were all in white pens,
And chickens in booths like popcorn machines.
For a dime, a light would come on and a hen
Would peck a tune on a toy piano.
Corn would drop in a tray
And for having played, the chicken was fed.
It would peck even when
No seeds came down, we learned.
The pecking of tin was music too.
It was funny: Another starving musician.

We put in all our dimes.

Michael Mack is a second-year law student. “Chicken at the Fair” was selected from poems
which received an honorable mention in the 1981-82 Mayhew poetry competition.