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Am I a Chicken?

A Poem by:

Jan Oskar Hansen

Colourful Bar


Copyright shall at all times remain vested in the Author. No part of the work shall be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the Author's express written consent.

At the supermarket I wore a red woolly overcoat,

so new that it was still smelling of grazing sheep,

this because of the air condition, which gives me

a running nose. I suddenly got tired and went to

sleep on a shelf selling chicken soup, each tin had

a label of happy chickens waiting in line to have

their heads chopped off and plucked by low paid

immigrant workers.


Born to be eaten, perfect food not fatty I wonder

If that’s their meaning of life … and us, aren't we

too born to eat or be eaten? I rather be eaten by

a Bengali tiger or an African lion, that’s more

respectable than to be eaten by millions of rats

in a city’s sewer. I know of a man who was eaten

by domestic pigs, his relatives couldn't bring

themselves to mourn him or mention his death to

anyone; drowned when out fishing they said.


When I awoke I was in a barrack in prison camp

on shelf like beds, hundreds of us lay and we were

hungry. In the yard the guards were roasting chicken,

the aroma wafted through the camp so wonderfully

that eleven long time prisoners hung themselves.

A man in green uniform called us up by name and

gave each one of us a white feather.


Jan Oskar Hansen
Copyright © 2004

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