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The Chicken Leg

They said I was a stray,
-A good-for-nothing mongrel! -
As I wandered the streets of Baghdad
Pawing through empty trash cans,
And hoping for a scrap of food
For food, to me, was life.
But what should I have expected?
There was no life in this place –
Just skeletal two-leggeds hunched over
Some cleaner than others,
Some with metal tools that create explosions
Some that burst into flames
All angry,
All hopeless,
All tired,
All walking the streets of death.
As for me, I just wanted food.

The chicken leg…
Held in a two-legged’s hand
Not far, not far from me at all!
And oh, how I drooled for that chicken!
Just one, bite, I knew, could save my life.
How could I resist?
I took a step forward. Please, please!
Have mercy, I beg you, for I am like you.
We both need food, life, chicken – please, oh please!
The two-legged swings around, metal tool in hand, toward me…

Stupid, I was stupid, idiotic.
I ventured too close.
It happened too fast.
The metal tool exploded upon me
Above the harsh sound of two-legged laughter,
“Getter, Bud! That rabid b**** could kill…”
“Greedy mongrel…”
“…Not an honorable way for a soldier like you to die, eh? Heheh!”
And I did not jump to the side quickly enough
For the chicken-smell impeded my reason
And so here I lie, dying in the dusty streets,
Not greedy as they say, but hungry, bleeding, losing
The only thing I’ve ever had or wanted –
Life.



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